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Map  of  the  Wanderings  of  Ulysses. 







“It  certainly  seems  a  pity  that  incidents,  characters  and  images,  that  are  part  of  the 
current  coin  of  the  world’s  intercourse,  should  not  become  familiar  in  the  years  when  imagina¬ 
tion  is  keenest  and  freshest.”  — Canon  Aingek. 


GEBBIE  &  CO.,  Publishers 


Copyrighted,  1890,  Gebbie  &  Co. 



The  book  which  you  are  going  to  read  is  One  of  the 
best  stories  in  the  world,  and  the  oldest. 

Perhaps  the  best  way  to  understand  all  about  the  tale 
is  first  to  look  at  a  map  of  Greece.  You  see  the  country 
is  almost  divided  into  two  parts  by  two  gulfs  of  the  sea, 
the  Gulf  of  Corinth  on  the  west,  the  Gulf  of  dEgina  on 
the  east.  Now  just  north  of  the  opening  of  the  Gulf  of 
Corinth  you  see  a  big  island,  Cephalonia,  and  a  little 
one  called  Ithaca.  Well,  it  was  in  this  little  island, 
Ithaca,  that  Ulysses  lived,  the  man  whose  adventures 
and  voyages  you  are  going  to  read.  When  did  he  live? 
Long,  long  ago  ;  perhaps  fourteen  hundred  years  or 
more  before  the  birth  of  Christ.  That  would  make  it 
about  three  thousand  two  hundred  years  ago.  In  those 
times  Greece  was  not  one  country  and  kingdom  as  it  is 
to-day,  but  there  was  a  separate  king,  or  prince,  for 
almost  every  town.  Some  had  more  lands  and  subjects, 

less,  but  of  them  all  Ulysses  owned  nearly  the 





smallest  kingdom  and  the  fewest  subjects.  In  every 
little  state  the  king  was  the  leader  in  war,  and  the  chief 
judge,  but  he  had  men  to  help  him  by  their  advice,  and 
he  was  chief  in  a  little  parliament  or  council. 

These  old  Greeks  only  knew  Greece,  and  the  islands 
near  it,  and  the  coast  of  Asia  Minor,  and  Egypt,  and 
perhaps  Sicily.  Took  what  a  tiny  part  of  the  world 
that  is  on  the  map  !  All  the  rest  of  the  Mediterranean 
was  as  unknown  as  the  Atlantic  before  Columbus 
crossed  it  and  found  America.  So  they  fancied  that  in 
the  seas  they  had  never  sailed  were  islands  full  of 
giauts,  witches,  and  cannibals,  such  as  Ulysses  met  in 
the  story.  All  round  the  whole  world,  they  thought, 
ran  a  great  river,  which  they  called  Oceanus ,  or  ocean. 
Beyond  that  river  the  souls  or  ghosts  of  dead  people 
lived,  in  a  gray,  dim  light,  like  a  foggy  day. 

But  how  do  we  come  to  hear  about  Ulysses  at  all  ? 
There  was  no  printing  in  his  time.  Perhaps  the  Greeks 
could  not  even  write  then  ;  at  all  events  they  wrote  very 
little.  The  person  who  gave  us  the  story  of  Ulysses 
must  have  heard  it  told  by  word  of  mouth,  just  as  you 
may  hear  one  child  tell  another  a  fairy-tale.  Part  of  it 
was  remembered,  perhaps,  and  a  great  deal  more  must 
have  been  invented,  once  upon  a  time,  very  long  ago, 
just  as  a  man  invents  a  novel.  But  it  could  not  be 
written  down,  of  course,  while  there  was  no  writing. 
It  was  just  told  for  pleasure,  and  the  son  heard  it  from 
his  father,  and  told  it  again  to  his  child,  when  he  had  a 
child  of  his  own. 



So  it  went  on,  till  about  a  thousand  years  or  nine 
hundred  before  the  birth  of  Christ.  It  would  be  about 
the  very  time  when  David,  in  the  Bible,  was  king  of 
Israel,  or  Solomon  was  building  his  temple.  Then  a 
poet  was  born  somewhere  in  Greece,  and  he  heard  the 
story  told,  and  he  made  it  into  a  poem. 

Well,  the  poet  made  all  the  long  poem  about  Ulysses. 
Some  people  think  he  merely  made  it  up  in  his  head, 
and  remembered  it  off  by  heart,  and  repeated  it  in  public 
for  his  daily  bread.  But  I  think,  myself,  that  the  Greeks 
could  write  by  his  time,  and  that  he  made  a  book  of  it 
to  remember  it  by.  It  would  not  be  a  printed  book  like 
this,  but  perhaps  it  was  written  on  the  leaves  of  a  plant 
called  papyrus ,  from  which  our  word  “paper”  is  de¬ 
rived.  Or  perhaps  it  was  scratched  with  a  sharp  point 
on  very  thin  plates  of  lead.  Any  way,  I  believe  he 
wrote  it,  for  it  makes  four  hundred  pages  of  English 
printing,  and  I  defy  him  to  have  remembered  all  that 
as  he  made  it  up. 

The  poet’s  name  was  Homer.  He  was  the  first  poet 
we  know  of,  and  the  best,  along  with  Shakespeare. 

Nobody  knows  where  he  was  born,  whether  in  Greece 
itself  or  on  the  opposite  shore  of  Asia  Minor. 

He  made  more  poems  than  one.  The  first  is  called 
the  Iliad ,  because  it  is  about  the  siege  of  Ilios ,  or  Troy, 
as  we  generally  call  it.  Ulysses  fought  in  that  war,  and, 
when  the  Iliad  was  finished,  people  asked,  “What 
became  of  the  brave  Ulysses  afterwards?”  So  Homer 
made  a  new  poem  to  tell  them  all  about  that,  and  this 



is  the  poem  which  gives  the  story  you  are  going  to  read. 
They  called  it  the  Odyssey,  or  poem  about  Odysseus ,  for 
Odysseus  was  the  old  way  of  saying  Ulysses. 

At  this  time  the  king  of  a  town  on  the  east  side  of 
Greece  had  a  very  beautiful  daughter.  Her  name  was 
Helen,  and  she  was  by  far  the  loveliest  woman  who 
ever  lived  in  the  world.  Now,  all  the  young  princes — 
and  Odysseus  like  the  rest — wanted  to  marry  her,  and 
came  offering  whole  flocks  and  herds  for  her.  But  her 
father  made  them  all  promise  that,  whoever  married 
her,  all  the  rest  would  help  him  in  case  he  was  in  any 
trouble.  So  they  swore  to  it,  and  then  her  father  gave 
her,  not  to  Ulysses,  but  to  Menelaus,  the  king  of  Sparta. 
So  the  rest  went  home,  and  married  wives  less  pretty  than 
Helen  ;  but  Ulysses  married  Penelope.  When  his  little, 
son,  Telemachus,  was  a  baby,  bad  news  came  to  Ithaca. 

The  son  of  a  king  named  Priam,  on  the  other  side  of 
the  sea,  had  sailed  from  Troy,  in  Asia  Minor,  and  had 
gone  to  Sparta,  where  Helen  lived  with  her  husband. 
There  he  had  fallen  in  love  with  her,  as,  indeed,  every¬ 
body  did  who  saw  her  ;  for  she  was  as  kind  and  charm¬ 
ing  as  she  was  beautiful.  Now  this  young  prince, 
named  Paris,  wanted  to  get  her  to  leave  her  husband, 
and  run  away  with  him.  Then  he  asked  her  to  come 
for  a  sail  with  him,  and  she  went,  of  course.  ,  When 
once  he  had  her  on  board  his  ship,  off  he  sailed  with  her 
to  Troy,  all  across  the  sea.  So  there  was  no  help  for  it, 
Helen  could  not  get  back,  and  would  have  been  ashamed 
to  go. 



Well,  when  it  was  told  that  Menelaus  had  been  robbed 
of  his  wife,  all  the  princes  remembered  how  they  had 
sworn  to  help  him  if  ever  he  needed  help.  And  they 
gathered  a  great  army  under  Agamemnon,  the  brother 
of  Menelaus.  He  was  the  general.  And  Ulysses  left 
his  wife  and  his  little  boy  in  Ithaca,  and  gathered  his 
fighting  men,  and  sailed  away  with  the  rest.  They 
sailed  across  the  sea  to  Troy,  in  Asia  Minor,  where 
Helen  was  living.  And  they  fought  there  for  ten  long 
years,  till  they  took  the  town.  Homer  tells  that  part  of 
the  tale  in  his  Iliad,  which  is  all  about  fighting.  When 
they  had  taken  Troy  Helen  was  given  back  to  Menelaus, 
and  the  Greeks  began  to  go  home.  But  many  great 
storms  arose,  and  the  ships  were  scattered  over  all  the 
seas,  and  some  were  drowned,  and  others  wandered  long. 
But  Ulysses  was  wandering  for  ten  whole  years  before 
he  reached  Ithaca.  Now  the  story  tells  of  all  the  won¬ 
derful  things  that  happened  to  him  in  his  wanderings — 
how  he  met  giants  and  goddesses,  and  monsters  of  the 
deep,  and  cannibals  that  eat  men’s  flesh,  and  how  he 
saw  the  ghosts  of  the  dead.  How  he  was  shipwrecked, 
and  all  his  men  were  killed  or  drowned.  How  his  sou 
went  to  look  for  him,  and  met  fair  Helen  happy  at  home 
with  her  own  husband,  and  how  she  gave  him  a  present 
for  his  bride  when  he  married.  How  Ulysses  came 
home  at  last,  and  found  young  men  living  in  his  wife’s 
house  at  his  expense,  and  wanting  to  marry  her,  and 
take  the  kingdom.  How  he  killed  them  all,  every  one, 
gnd  how  his  wife  and  he  were  so  happy  after  being 



separated  from  each  other  for  twenty  years.  And  though 
she  was  not  young  any  more,  nor  so  pretty  as  she  had 
been,  he  only  cared  for  her ,  and  longed  only  for  her 
and  his  own  little  rocky  island.  Yet  a  goddess  had 
offered  to  make  him  immortal — that  is,  never  to  die — 
and  always  live  with  her  in  a  beautiful  place.  But  he 
preferred  his  own  home  and  his  wife.  The  poem  in 
which  this  tale  is  told  has  been  read  now  by  all  the 
world  for  about  three  thousand  years.  The  story  here 
is  made  out  of  the  poem,  for  children,  by  Charles  Lamb, 
who  wrote  many  other  delightful  books.  But,  in  the 
meantime,  forgive  me  for  having  kept  you  so  long  from 

The  Adventures  of  Ulysses. 

Andrew  Lang. 



Preface,  by  Andrew  Lang  ........  3 

Introduction,  by  Charles  Lamb . 13 


The  Cicons — The  fruit  of  the  lotus-tree — Polyphemus  and  the 
Cyclops — The  kingdom  of  the  winds,  and  God  Ajolus’  fatal 
present — The  Lsestrygonian  man-eaters  .  .  .  .15 


The  house  of  Circe — Men  changed  into  beasts — The  voyage  to  hell 

— The  banquet  of  the  dead  .......  37 


The  song  of  the  Sirens — Scylla  and  Charybdis — The  oxen  of  the 

Sun — The  judgment— The  crew  killed  by  lightning  .  .  60 


The  island  of  Calypso — Immortality  refused  .  .  .  .  .77 


The  tempest — The  sea-bird’s  gift — The  escape  by  swimming — The 
sleep  in  the  woods  .  .  .  .  .  .  •  .  -85 



The  princess  Nausicaa — The  washing — The  game  with  the  ball — 

The  Court  of  Phaeacia  and  king  Alciuous  .  .  .  -95 






The  songs  of  Demodocus — The  convoy  home — The  mariners  trans¬ 
formed  to  stone — The  young  shepherd . 106 


The  change  from  a  king  to  a  beggar — Eumaeus  and  the  herdsmen 

— Telemachus  ..........  122 


The  queen’s  suitors — The  battle  of  the  beggars— The  armor  taken 

down — The  meeting  with  Penelope . 140 


The  madness  from  above  —The  bow  of  Ulysses — The  slaughter — 

The  conclusion  .........  152 

Index  op  Proper  Names . 165 


f  * 



Map  of  Ulysses’  Wanderings  .  .  .  Frontispiece. 

Ulysses  Going  Forth  on  his  Travels  .  .  .  .13 

Tailpiece . 14 

Polyphemus  and  the  Followers  of  Ulysses  .  .  .15 

Conquest  of  Ismarus,  Capital  of  the  Cicons  .  .  .17 

Escaping  from  Polyphemus . 29 

Tailpiece . 34 

Circe . 35 

The  Warning  of  Mercury  to  Circe . 37 

Mercury  Instructing  Ulysses  how  to  Resist  Circe  .  41 

Ulysses  in  Hades . 51 

Tailpiece  .  59 

Circe  Warns  Ulysses  of  the  Sirens  .....  60 

The  Sirens . 65 

The  Followers  of  Ulysses  Slay  the  Oxen  of  Apollo  .  73. 

Tailpiece . 76 

On  the  Island  of  Calypso . 77 

Calypso . 81 

Tailpiece  . . 84 





Ulysses  Departs  from  Calypso  and  Embarks  for  Ithaca  85 

Leucothea  Rescues  Ulysses . 89 

Tailpiece . 94 

The  Princess  Nausicaa  and  Ulysses . 95 

The  Princess  Nausicaa  and  Ulysses . 99 

Tailpiece . 105 

The  Song  of  Demodoc'us . 106 

Ulysses  Awakens  in  Ithaca . 115 

Ulysses  and  the  Goddess  Minerva . 119 

Tailpiece . 121 

The  Transformation  of  Ulysses  by  Minerva  .  .  .  122 

Tailpiece . 139 

The  Suitors  of  Penelope . 140 

Tailpiece . 151 

Ulysses  Slays  the  Suitors  of  Penelope  .  .  .  .152 

Tailpiece . 163 

Ulysses  Going  Forth  on  his  Travels. 


This  work  treats  of  the  conduct  and  sufferings  of 
Ulysses.  The  picture  which  it  exhibits  is  that  of  a 
brave  man  struggling  with  adversity  ;  by  a  wise  use  of 
events,  and  with  an  inimitable  presence  of  mind  under 
difficulties,  forcing  out  a  way  for  himself  through  the 
severest  trials  to  which  human  life  can  be  exposed  ; 
with  enemies  natural  and  preternatural  surrounding 
him  on  all  sides.  The  agents  in  this  tale,  besides  men 
and  women,  are  giants,  enchanters,  sirens  :  things 
which  denote  external  force  or  internal  temptations,  the 
twofold  danger  which  a  wise  fortitude  must  expect  to 
encounter  in  its  course  through  this  world.  The  fic¬ 
tions  contained  in  it  will  be  found  to  comprehend  some 
of  the  most  admired  inventions  of  Grecian  mythology. 

The  groundwork  of  the  story  is  the  Odyssey ,  but  the 
moral  and  the  coloring  are  comparatively  modern.  By 
avoiding  the  prolixity  which  marks  the  speeches  and 
the  descriptions  in  Hcnner ,  I  have  gained  a  rapidity  to 
2  (13) 



the  narration  which  I  hope  will  make  it  more  attractive 
and  give  it  more  the  air  of  a  romance  to  young  readers, 
though  I  am  sensible  that  by  the  curtailment  I  have 
sacrificed  in  many  places  the  manners  to  the  passion, 
the  subordinate  characteristics  to  the  essential  interest 
of  the  story.  The  attempt  is  not  to  be  considered  as 
seeking  a  comparison  with  any  of  the  direct  translations, 
of  the  Odyssey,  either  in  prose  or  verse,  though  if  I 
were  to  state  the  obligations  which  I  have  had  to  one 
obsolete  version,1  I  should  have  run  the  hazard  of  de¬ 
priving  myself  of  the  very  slender  degree  of  reputation 
which  I  could  hope  to  acquire  from  a  trifle  like  the 
present  undertaking. 


1  The  translation  of  Homer  by  Chapman  in  the  reign  of  James  I. 


Polyphemus  and  the  Followers  of  Ulysses. 



The  Cicons — The  fruit  of  the  lotos-tree — Polyphemus  and  the  Cyclops 
- — The  kingdom  of  the  winds,  and  God  epolus’  fatal  present — The 
Uaestrygonian  man-eaters. 

This  history  tells  of  the  wanderings  of  Ulysses  and 
his  followers  in  their  return  from  Troy,  after  the  de¬ 
struction  of  that  famous  city  of  Asia  by  the  Grecians. 
He  was  inflamed  with  a  desire  of  seeing  again,  after  a 
ten  years’  absence,  his  wife  and  native  country  Ithaca. 
He  was  king  of  a  barren  spot,  and  a  poor  country,  in 
comparison  of  the  fruitful  plains  of  Asia  which  he  was 
leaving,  or  the  wealthy  kingdoms  which  he  touched 
upon  in  his  return  ;  yet  wherever  he  came  he  could 
never  see  a  soil  which  appeared  in  his  eyes  half  so  sweet 
or  desirable  as  his  country  earth.  This  made  him  re¬ 
fuse  the  offers  of  the  goddess  Calypso  to  stay  with  her, 
and  partake  of  her  immortality,  in  the  delightful  island  : 


16  the;  adventures  of  ulysses. 

and  this  gave  him  strength  to  break  from  the  enchant¬ 
ments  of  Circe,  the  daughter  of  the  Sun. 

From  Troy  ill  winds  cast  Ulysses  and  his  fleet  upon 
the  coast  of  the  Cicons,  a  people  hostile  to  the  Grecians. 
Landing  his  forces,  he  laid  siege  to  their  chief  city  Is- 
marus,  which  he  took,  and  with  it  much  spoil,  and  slew 
many  people.  But  success  proved  fatal  to  him  ;  for  his 
soldiers,  elated  with  the  spoil  and  the  good  store  of  pro¬ 
visions  which  they  found  in  that  place,  fell  to  eating 
and  drinking,  forgetful  of  their  safety,  till  the  Cicons, 
who  inhabited  the  coast,  had  time  to  assemble  their 
friends  and  allies  from  the  interior,  who,  mustering  in 
prodigious  force,  set  upon  the  Grecians,  while  they  neg¬ 
ligently  revelled  and  feasted,  and  slew  many  of  them 
and  recovered  the  spoil.  They,  dispirited  and  thinned 
in  their  numbers,  with  difficulty  made  their  retreat  good 
to  the  ships. 

Thence  they  set  sail,  sad  at  heart,  yet  something 
cheered  that  with  such  fearful  odds  against  them  they 
had  not  all  been  utterly  destroyed.  A  dreadful  tempest 
ensued,  which  for  two  nights  and  two  days  tossed  them 
about,  but  the  third  day  the  weather  cleared,  and  they 
had  hopes  of  a  favorable  gale  to  carry  them  to  Ithaca  ; 
but  as  they  doubled  the  Cape  of  Malea,  suddenly  a  north 
wind  arising,  drove  them  back  as  far  as  Cytliera.  After 
that,  for  the  space  of  nine  days,  contrary  winds  contin¬ 
ued  to  drive  them  in  an  opposite  direction  to  the  point 
to  which  they  were  bound,  and  the  tenth  day  they  put 
in  at  a  shore  where  a  race  of  men  dwell  that  are  sus- 


Conquest  of  Ismarus,  Capital  of  the  Cicons. 




tained  by  the  fruit  of  the  lotos-tree.  Here  Ulysses  sent 
some  of  his  men  to  laud  for  fresh  water,  who  were  met 
by  certain  of  the  inhabitants,  that  gave  them  some  of 
their  country  food  to  eat  ;  not  with  any  ill  intention 
towards  them,  though  in  the  event  it  proved  pernicious  ; 
for,  having  eaten  of  this  fruit,  so  pleasant  it  proved  to 
their  appetite,  that  they  in  a  minute  quite  forgot  all 
thoughts  of  home,  or  of  their  countrymen,  or  of  ever 
returning  back  to  the  ships  to  give  an  account  of  what 
sort  of  inhabitants  dwelt  there,  but  they  would  needs 
stay  and  live  there  among  them,  and  eat  of  that  pre¬ 
cious  food  forever  ;  and  when  Ulysses  sent  other  of  his 
men  to  look  for  them,  and  to  bring  them  back  by  force, 
they  strove,  and  wept,  and  would  not  leave  their  food 
for  heaven  itself,  so  much  the  pleasure  of  that  enchant¬ 
ing  fruit  had  bewitched  them.  But  Ulysses  caused 
them  to  be  bound  hand  and  foot,  and  cast  under  the 
hatches  ;  and  set  sail  with  all  possible  speed  from  that 
baneful  coast,  lest  others  after  them  might  taste  the 
lotos,  which  had  such  strange  qualities  to  make  men 
forget  their  native  country  and  the  thoughts  of  home. 

Coasting  on  all  that  night  by  unknown  and  out  of  the 
way  shores,  they  came  by  day-break  to  the  land  where 
the  Cyclops  dwell,  a  sort  of  giant  shepherds  that  neither 
sow  nor  plough,  but  the  earth  untilled  produces  for  them 
rich  wheat  and  barley  and  grapes,  yet  they  have  neither 
bread  nor  wine,  nor  know  the  arts  of  cultivation,  nor 
care  to  know  them  ;  for  they  live  each  man  to  himself, 
without  laws  or  government,  or  anything  like  a  state  or 



kingdom,  but  their  dwellings  are  in  caves,  on  the  steep 
heads  of  mountains,  every  man’s  household  governed  by 
his  own  caprice,  or  not  governed  at  all,  their  wives  and 
children  as  lawless  as  themselves,  none  caring  for  others, 
but  each  doing  as  he  or  she  thinks  good.  Ships  or  boats 
they  have  none,  nor  artificers  to  make  them,  no  trade  or 
commerce,  or  wish  to  visit  other  shores  ;  yet  they  have 
convenient  places  for  harbors  and  for  shipping.  Here 
Ulysses  with  a  chosen  party  of  twelve  followers  landed, 
to  explore  what  sort  of  men  dwelt  there,  whether  hos¬ 
pitable  and  friendly  to  strangers,  or  altogether  wild  and 
savage,  for  as  yet  no  dwellers  appeared  in  sight. 

The  first  sign  of  habitation  which  they  came  to  w?as  a 
giant’s  cave  rudely  fashioned,  but  of  a  size  which  be¬ 
tokened  the  vast  proportions  of  its  owner,  the  pillars 
which  supported  it  being  the  bodies  of  huge  oaks  or  pines, 
in  the  natural  state  of  the  tree,  and  all  about  showed 
more  marks  of  strength  than  skill  in  whoever  built  it. 
Ulysses,  entering  in,  admired  the  savage  contrivances 
and  artless  structure  of  the  place,  and  longed  to  see  the 
tenant  of  so  outlandish  a  mansion  ;  but  well  conjecturing 
that  gifts  would  have  more  avail  in  extracting  courtesy 
than  strength  could  succeed  in  forcing  it,  from  such  a 
one  as  he  expected  to  find  the  inhabitant,  he  resolved  to 
flatter  his  hospitality  with  a  present  of  Greek  wine,  of 
which  he  had  store  in  twelve  great  vessels  ;  so  strong 
that  no  one  ever  drank  it  without  an  infusion  of  twenty 
parts  of  water  to  one  of  wine,  yet  the  fragrance  of  it 
even  then  so  delicious,  that  it  would  have  vexed  a  man 



who  smelled  it  to  abstain  from  tasting  it ;  but  whoever 
tasted  it,  it  was  able  to  raise  his  courage  to  the  height  of 
heroic  deeds.  Taking  with  them  a  goatskin  flagon  full 
of  this  precious  liquor,  they  ventured  into  the  recesses 
of  the  cave.  Here  they  pleased  themselves  a  whole  day 
with  beholding  the  giant’s  kitchen,  where  the  flesh  of 
sheep  and  goats  lay  strewed,  his  dairy  where  goat-milk 
stood  ranged  in  troughs  and  pails,  his  pens  where  he 
kept  his  live  animals  ;  but  those  he  had  driven  forth  to 
pasture  with  him  when  he  went  out  in  the  morning. 
While  they  were  feasting  their  eyes  with  a  sight  of  these 
curiosities,  their  ears  were  suddenly  deafened  with  a 
noise  like  the  falling  of  a  house.  It  was  the  owner  of 
the  cave  who  had  been  abroad  all  day  feeding  his  flock, 
as  his  custom  was,  in  the  mountains,  and  now  drove 
them  home  in  the  evening  from  pasture.  He  threw 
down  a  pile  of  fire-wood,  which  he  had  been  gathering 
against  supper-time,  before  the  mouth  of  the  cave,  which 
occasioned  the  crash  they  heard.  The  Grecians  hid 
themselves  in  the  remote  parts  of  the  cave,  at  sight  of 
the  uncouth  monster.  It  was  Polyphemus,  the  largest 
and  savagest  of  the  Cyclops,  who  boasted  himself  to  be 
the  son  of  Neptune.  He  looked  more  like  a  mountain 
crag-  than  a  man,  and  to  his  brutal  bodv  he  had  a  brutish 
mind  answerable.  He  drove  his  flock,  all  that  gave 
milk,  to  the  interior  of  the  cave,  but  left  the  rams  and 
the  lie-goats  without.  Then  taking  up  a  stone  so  massy 
that  twenty  oxen  could  not  have  drawn  it,  he  placed  it 
at  the  mouth  of  the  cave,  to  defend  the  entrance,  and 



sat  him  down  to  milk  his  ewes  and  his  goats  ;  which 
done,  he  lastly  kindled  a  fire,  and  throwing  his  great 
eye  round  the  cave  (for  the  Cyclops  have  no  more  than 
one  eye,  and  that  placed  in  the  midst  of  their  forehead), 
by  the  glimmering  light  he  discerned  some  of  Ulysses’ 

“  Ho,  guests,  what  are  you?  merchants  or  wandering 
thieves?”  he  bellowed  out  in  a  voice  which  took  from 
them  all  power  of  reply,  it  was  so  astounding. 

Only  Ulysses  summoned  resolution  to  answer,  that 
they  came  neither  for  plunder  nor  traffic,  but  were 
Grecians  who  had  lost  their  way,  returning  from  Troy  ; 
which  famous  city,  under  the  conduct  of  Agamemnon, 
the  renowned  son  of  Atreus,  they  had  sacked,  and  laid 
level  with  the  ground.  Yet  now  they  prostrated  them¬ 
selves  humbly  before  his  feet,  whom  they  acknowledged 
to  be  mightier  than  they,  and  besought  him  that  he 
would  bestow  the  rites  of  hospitality  upon  them,  for  that 
Jove  was  the  avenger  of  wrongs  done  to  strangers,  and 
would  fiercely  resent  any  injury  which  they  might 

“Fool,”  said  the  Cyclop,  “  to  come  so  far  to  preach 
to  me  the  fear  of  the  gods.  We  Cyclops  care  not  for 
your  Jove,  whom  you  fable  to  be  nursed  by  a  goat,  nor 
any  of  your  blessed  ones.  We  are  stronger  than  they, 
and  dare  bid  open  battle  to  Jove  himself,  though  you 
and  all  your  fellows  of  the  earth  join  with  him.”  And 
he  bade  them  tell  him  where  their  ship  was,  in  which 
they  came,  and  whether  they  had  any  companions. 



But  Ulysses,  with  a  wise  caution,  made  answer,  that 
they  had  no  ship  or  companions,  but  were  unfortunate 
men  whom  the  sea,  splitting  their  ship  in  pieces,  had 
dashed  upon  his  coast,  and  they  alone  had  escaped.  He 
replied  nothing,  but  gripping  two  of  the  nearest  of  them, 
as  . if  they  had  been  no  more  than  children,  he  dashed 
their  brains  out  against  the  earth,  and  (shocking  to 
relate)  tore  in  pieces  their  limbs,  and  devoiired  them,  yet 
warm  and  trembling,  making  a  lion’s  meal  of  them, 
lapping  the  blood  ;  for  the  Cyclops  are  man-eaters ,  and 
esteem  human  flesh  to  be  a  delicacy  far  above  goat’s  or 
kid’s  ;  though  by  reason  of  their  abhorred  customs  few 
men  approach  their  coast  except  some  stragglers,  or  now 
and  then  a  shipwrecked  mariner.  At  a  sight  so  horrid 
Ulysses  and  his  men  were  like  distracted  people.  He, 
when  he  had  made  an  end  of  his  wicked  supper,  drained 
a  draught  of  goat’s  milk  down  his  prodigious  throat, 
and  lay  down  and  slept  among  his  goats.  Then  Ulysses 
drew  his  sword,  and  half  resolved  to  thrust  it  with  all 
his  might  in  at  the  bosom  of  the  sleeping  monster  ;  but 
wiser  thoughts  restrained  him,  else  they  had  there 
without  help  all  perished,  for  none  but  Polyphemus  him¬ 
self  could  have  removed  that  mass  of  stone  which  he  had 
placed  to  guard  the  entrance.  vSo  they  were  constrained 
to  abide  all  that  night  in  fear. 

When  day  came  the  Cyclop  awoke,  and  kindling  a 
fire,  made  his  breakfast  of  two  other  of  his  unfortunate 
prisoners,  then  milked  his  goats  as  he  was  accustomed, 
and  pushing  aside  the  vast  stone,  and  shutting  it  again 



when  he  had  done,  upon  the  prisoners,  with  as  much 
ease  as  a  man  opens  and  shuts  a  quiver’s  lid,  he  let  out 
his  flock,  and  drove  them  before  him  with  whistlings  (as 
sharp  as  winds  in  storms)  to  the  mountains. 

Then  Ulysses,  of  whose  strength  or  cunning  the  Cy¬ 
clop  seems  to  have  had  as  little  heed  as  of  an  infants, 
being  left  alone,  with  the  remnant  of  his  men  which  the 
Cyclop  had  not  devoured,  gave  manifest  proof  how  far 
manly  wisdom  excels  brutish  force.  He  chose  a  stake 
from  among  the  wood  which  the  Cyclop  had  piled  up  for 
firing,  in  length  and  thickness  like  a  mast,  which  he 
sharpened  and  hardened  in  the  fire,  and  selected  four 
men,  and  instructed  them  what  they  should  do  with  this 
stake,  and  made  them  perfect  in  their  parts. 

When  the  evening  was  come,  the  Cyclop  drove  home 
his  sheep  ;  and  as  fortune  directed  it,  either  of  purpose, 
or  that  his  memory  wras  overruled  by  the  gods  to  his 
hurt  (as  in  the  issue  it  proved),  he  drove  the  males  of 
his  flock,  contrary  to  his  custom,  along  with  the  dams 
into  the  pens.  Then  shutting-to  the  stone  of  the  cave, 
he  fell  to  his  horrible  supper.  When  he  had  despatched 
two  more  of  the  Grecians,  Ulysses  waxed  bold  with  the 
contemplation  of  his  project,  and  took  a  bowl  of  Greek 
wine,  and  merrily  dared  the  Cyclop  to  drink. 

“Cyclop,”  he  said,  “take  a  bowl  of  wine  from  the 
hand  -of  your  guest  ;  it  may  serve  to  digest  the  man’s 
flesh  that  you  have  eaten,  and  show  what  drink  our  ship 
held  before  it  went  down.  All  I  ask  in  recompense,  if 
you  find  it  good,  is  to  be  dismissed  in  a  whole  skin. 



Truly  you  must  look  to  have  few  visitors,  if  you  observe 
this  new  custom  of  eating  your  guests.” 

The  brute  took  and  drank,  and  vehemently  enjoyed 
the  taste  of  wine,  which  was  new  to  him,  and  swilled 
again  at  the  flagon,  and  entreated  for  more,  and  prayed 
Ulysses  to  tell  him  his  name,  that  he  might  bestow  a 
gift  upon  the  man  who  had  given  him  such  brave  liquor. 
The  Cyclops  (he  said)  had  grapes,  but  this  rich  juice  (he 
swore)  was  simply  divine.  Again  Ulysses  plied  him 
with  the  wine,  and  the  fool  drank  it  as  fast  as  he  poured 
out,  and  again  he  asked  the  name  of  his  benefactor, 
which  Ulysses  cunningly  dissembling,  said  :  “My  name 
is  Noman  ;  my  kindred  and  friends  in  my  own  country 
call  me  Noman.”  “Then,”  said  the  Cyclop,  “  this  is 
the  kindness  I  will  show  thee,  Noman  ;  I  will  eat  thee 
last  of  all  thy  friends.”  He  had  scarce  expressed  his 
savage  kindness  when  the  fumes  of  the  strong  wine 
overcame  him,  and  he  reeled  down  upon  the  floor  and 
sank  into  a  dead  sleep.. 

Ulysses  watched  his  time,  while  the  monster  lay  in¬ 
sensible,  and  heartening  up  his  men,  they  placed  the 
sharp  end  of  the  stake  in  the  fire  till  it  was  heated  red- 
hot,  and  some  god  gave  them  a  courage  beyond  that 
which  they  were  used  to  have,  and  the  four  men  with 
difficulty  bored  the  sharp  end  of  the  huge  stake,  which 
they  had  heated  red-hot,  right  into  the  eye  of  the 
■drunken  cannibal,  and  Ulysses  helped  to  thrust  it  in 
with  all  his  might,  still  farther  and  farther,  with  effort, 
as  men  bore  with  an  auger,  till  the  scalded  blood  gushed 



out,  and  the  eye-ball  smoked,  and  the  strings  of  the  eye 
cracked,  as  the  burning  rafter  broke  in  it,  and  the  eye 
hissed,  as  hot  iron  hisses  when  it  is  plunged  into  water. 

He  waking,  roared  with  the  pain  so  loud  that  all  the 
cavern  broke  into  claps  like  thunder.  They  fled,  and 
dispersed  into  corners.  He  plucked  the  burning  stake 
from  his  eye,  and  hurled  the  wood  madly  about  the 
cave.  Then  he  cried  out  with  a  mighty  voice  for  his 
brethren  the  Cyclops,  that  dwelt  hard  by  in  caverns 
upon  hills  ;  they  hearing  the  terrible  shout  came  flocking 
from  all  parts  to  inquire  what  ailed  Polyphemus?  and 
what  cause  he  had  for  making  such  horrid  clamors  in 
the  night-time  to  break  their  sleeps  ?  if  his  fright  pro¬ 
ceeded  from  any  mortal  ?  if  strength  or  craft  had  given 
him  his  death’s  blow?  He  made  answer  from  within 
that  Noman  had  hurt  him,  Noman  had  killed  him, 
Noman  was  with  him  in  the  cave.  They  replied,  “If 
no  man  has  hurt  thee,  and  no  man  is  with  thee,  then 
thou  art  alone,  and  the  evil  that  afflicts  thee  is  from  the 
hand  of  heaven,  which  none  can  resist  or  help.”  So 
they  left  him  and  went  their  way,  thinking  that  some 
disease  troubled  him.  He,  blind  and  ready  to  split  with 
the  anguish  of  the  pain,  went  groaning  up  and  down  in 
the  dark,  to  find  the  doorway,  which  when  he  found,  he 
removed  the  stone,  and  sat  in  the  threshold,  feeline  if 
lie  could  lay  hold  on  any  man  going  out  with  the  sheep, 
which  (the  day  now  breaking)  were  beginning  to  issue 
forth  to  their  accustomed  pastures.  But  Ulysses,  whose 
first  artifice  in  giving  himself  that  ambiguous  name,  had 



succeeded  so  well  with  the  Cyclop,  was  not  of  a  wit  so 
gross  to  be  caught  by  that  palpable  device.  But  casting 
about  in  his  mind  all  the  ways  which  he  could  contrive 
for  escape  (no  less  than  all  their  lives  depending  on  the 
success),  at  last  he  thought  of  this  expedient.  He  made 
knots  of  the  osier  twigs  upon  which  the  Cyclop  com¬ 
monly  slept,  with  which  he  tied  the  fattest  and  fleeciest 
of  the  rams  together,  three  in  a  rank,  and  under  the 
belly  of  the  middle  ram  he  tied  a  man,  and  himself  last, 
wrapping  himself  fast  with  both  his  hands  in  the  rich 
wool  of  one,  the  fairest  of  the  flock. 

And  now  the  sheep  began  to  issue  forth  very  fast ;  the 
males  went  first,  the  females  unmilked  stood  by,  bleat¬ 
ing  and  requiring  the  hand  of  their  shepherd  in  vain  to 
milk  them,  their  full  bags  sore  with  being  unemptied, 
but  he  much  sorer  with  the  loss  of  sight.  Still  as  the 
males  passed,  he  felt  the  backs  of  those  fleecy  fools, 
never  dreaming  that  they  carried  his  enemies  under  their 
bellies  :  so  they  passed  on  till  the  last  ram  came  loaded 
with  his  wool  and  Ulysses  together.  He  stopped  that 
ram  and  felt  him,  and  had  his  hand  once  in  the  hair  of 
Ulysses,  yet  knew  it  not,  and  he  chid  the  ram  for  being 
last,  and  spoke  to  it  as  if  it  understood  him,  and  asked  it 
whether  it  did  not  wish  that  its  master  has  his  eye  again, 
which  that  abominable  Noman  with  his  execrable  rout 
had  put  out,  when  they  had  got  him  down  with  wine  ; 
and  he  willed  the  ram  to  tell  him  whereabouts  in  the 
cave  his  enemy  lurked,  that  he  might  dash  his  brains 
and  strew  them  about,  to  ease  his  heart  of  that  torment- 



ing  revenge  which  rankled  in  it.  After  a  deal  of  such 
foolish  talk  to  the  beast  he  let  it  go. 

When  Ulysses  found  himself  free,  he  let  go  his  hold, 
and  assisted  in  disengaging  his  friends.  The  rams 
which  had  befriended  them  they  carried  off  with  them 
to  the  ships,  where  their  companions  with  tears  in  their 
eyes  received  them,  as  men  escaped  from  death.  They 
plied  their  oars,  and  set  their  sails,  and  when  they  were 
got  as  far  off  from  shore  as  a  voice  would  reach,  Ulysses 
cried  out  to  the  Cyclop:  “Cyclop,  thou  should’st  not 
have  so  much  abused  thy  monstrous  strength,  as  to 
devour  thy  guests.  Jove  by  my  hand  sends  thee  requital 
to  pay  thy  savage  inhumanity.”  The  Cyclop  heard, 
and  came  forth  enraged,  and  in  his  anger  he  plucked  a 
fragment  of  a  rock,  and  threw  it  with  blind  fuiy  at  the 
ships  :  it  narrowly  escaped  lighting  upon  the  bark  in 
which  Ulysses  sat,  but  with  the  fall  it  raised  so  fierce  an 
ebb,  as  bore  back  the  ship  till  it  almost  touched  the 
shore.  “Cyclop,”  said  Ulysses,  “if  any  ask  thee  who 
imposed  on  thee  that  unsightly  blemish  in  thine  eye, 
say  it  was  Ulysses,  son  of  Uaertes  :  the  king  of  Ithaca 
am  I  called,  the  waster  of  cities.”  Then  they  crowded 
sail,  and  beat  the  old  sea,  and  forth  they  went  with  a 
forward  gale  ;  sad  for  forepast  losses,  yet  glad  to  have 
escaped  at  any  rate  ;  till  they  came  to  the  isle  where 
CEolus  reigned,  who  is  god  of  the  winds. 

Here  Ulysses  and  his  men  were  courteously  received 
by  the  monarch,  who  showed  him  his  twelve  children 
which  have  rule  over  the  twelve  winds.  A  month  they 

Escaping  from  Polyphemus. 





stayed  and  feasted  with  him,  and  at  the  end  of  the  month 
he  dismissed  them  with  many  presents,  and  gave  to 
Ulysses  at  parting  an  ox’s  hide,  in  which  \tfere  enclosed 
all  the  winds  :  only  he  left  abroad  the  western  wind,  to 
play  upon  their  sails  and  waft  them  gently  home  to 
Ithaca.  This  bag,  bound  in  a  glittering  silver  band,  so 
close  that  no  breath  could  escape,  Ulysses  hung  up  at 
the  mast.  His  companions  did  not  know  its  contents, 
but  guessed  that  the  monarch  had  given  to  him  some 
treasures  of  gold  or  silver. 

Nine  days  they  sailed  smoothly,  favored  by  the  western 
wind,  and  by  the  tenth  they  approached  so  nigh  as  to 
discern  lights  kindled  on  the  shores  of  their  country 
earth  ;  when,  by  ill  fortune,  Ulysses,  overcome  with 
fatigue  of  watching  the  helm,  fell  asleep.  The  mariners 
seized  the  opportunity,  and  one  of  them  said  to  the  rest: 
“A  fine  time  has  this  leader  of  ours  :  wherever  he  goes  he 
is  sure  of  presents,  when  we  come  away  empty-handed  ; 
and  see,  what  king  Aeolus  has  given  him,  store  no  doubt 
of  gold  and  silver.”  A  word  was  enough  to  those 


covetous  wretches,  who  quick  as  thought  untied  the  bag, 
and  instead  of  gold,  out  rushed  with  mighty  noise  all 
the  winds.  Ulysses  with  the  noise  awoke  and  saw  their 
mistake,  but  too  late,  for  the  ship  was  driving  with  all 
the  winds  back  far  from  Ithaca,  far  as  to  the  island  of 
Hjolus  from  which  they  had  parted,  in  one  hour  measur¬ 
ing  back  what  in  nine  days  they  had  scarcely  tracked, 
and  in  sight  of  home  too  !  Up  he  flew  amazed,  and 
raving  doubted  whether  he  should  not  fling  himself  into 


tlie  sea  for  grief  of  his  bitter  disappointment.  At  last 
he  hid  himself  under  the  hatches  for  shame.  And 
scarce  could  he  be  prevailed  upon,  when  he  was  told  he 
was  arrived  again  in  the  harbor  of  king  Aeolus,  to  go 
himself  or  send  to  that  monarch  for  a  second  succor  ;  so 
much  the  disgrace  of  having  misused  his  royal  bounty 
(though  it  was  the  crime  of  his  followers  and  not  his 
own)  weighed  upon  him  :  and  when  at  last  he  went,  and 
took  a  herald  with  him,  and  came  where  the  god  sat  on 
his  throne,  feasting  with  his  children,  he  would  not 
trust  in  among  them  at  their  meat,  but  set  himself  down 
like  one  unworthy  in  the  threshold. 

Indignation  seized  Aeolus  to  behold  him  in  that  man¬ 
ner  returned  ;  and  he  said  :  “  Ulysses,  what  has  brought 
you  back  ?  are  you  so  soon  tired  of  your  country  ?  or 
did  not  our  present  please  you?  we  thought  we  had 
given  you  a  kingly  passport.  ’  ’  Ulysses  made  answer  : 
“  My  men  have  done  this  ill  mischief  to  me  :  they  did 
it  while  I  slept.”  “Wretch,”  said  Aeolus,  “avaunt, 

and  quit  our  shores  :  it  fits  not  us  to  convoy  men  whom 


the  gods  hate,  and  will  have  perish.” 

Forth  they  sailed,  but  with  far  different  hopes  than 
when  they  left  the  same  harbor  the  first  time  with  all 
the  winds  confined,  only  the  west-wind  suffered  to  play 
upon  their  sails  to  waft  them  in  gentle  murmurs  to 
Ithaca.  They  were  now  the  sport  of  every  gale  that 
blew,  and  despaired  of  ever  seeing  home  more.  Now 
those  covetous  mariners  were  cured  of  their  surfeit  for 


gold,  and  would  not  have  touched  it  if  it  had  lain  in 
untold  heaps  before  them. 

Six  days  and  nights  they  drove  along,  •  and  on  the 
seventh  day  they  put  in  to  Uamos,  a  port  of  the  Uaestry- 
gonians.  So  spacious  this  harbor  was,  that  it  held  with 
ease  all  their  fleets,  which  rode  at  anchor,  safe  from  any 
storms,  all  but  the  ship  in  which  Ulysses  was  embarked. 
He,  as  if  prophetic  of  the  mischance  which  followed, 
kept  still  without  the  harbor,  making  fast  his  bark  to  a 
rock  at  the  land’s  point,  which  he  climbed  with  purpose 
to  survey  the  country.  He  saw  a  city  with  smoke  as¬ 
cending  from  the  roofs,  but  neither  ploughs  going,  nor 
oxen  yoked,  nor  any  sign  of  agricultural  works.  Mak¬ 
ing  choice  of  two  men,  he  sent  them  to  the  citv  to 
explore  what  sort  of  inhabitants  dwelt  there.  His 
messengers  had  not  gone  far  before  they  met  a  damsel, 
of  stature  surpassing  human,  who  was  coming  to  draw 
water  from  a  spring.  They  asked  her  who  dwelt  in 
that  land.  She  made  no  reply,  but  led  them  in  silence 
to  her  father’s  palace.  He  was  a  monarch  and  named 
Antiphas.  He  and  all  his  people  were  giants.  When 
they  entered  the  palace,  a  woman,  the  mother  of  the 
damsel,  but  far  taller  than  she,  rushed  abroad  and  called! 
for  Antiphas.  He  came,  and  snatching  up  one  of  the 
two  men,  made  as  if  he  would  devour  him.  The  other 
fled.  Antiphas  raised  a  mighty  shout,  and  instantly, 
this  way  and  that,  multitudes  of  gigantic  people  issued 
out  at  the  gates(  and  making  for  the  harbor,  tore  up 
huge  pieces  of  the  rocks,  and  flung  them  at  the  ships 



which  lay  there,  all  which  they  utterly  overwhelmed 
and  sank  ;  and  the  unfortunate  bodies  of  men  which 
floated,  and  which  the  sea  did  not  devour,  these  canni¬ 
bals  thrust  through  with  harpoons,  like  fishes,  and  bore 
them  off  to  their  dire  feast.  Ulysses  with  his  single 
bark  that  had  never  entered  the  harbor  escaped  ;  that 
bark  which  was  now  the  only  vessel  left  of  all  the  gallant 
navy  that  had  set  sail  with  him  from  Troy.  He  pushed 
off  from  the  shore,  cheering  the  sad  remnant  of  his  men, 
whom  horror  at  the  sight  of  their  countrymen’s  fate  had 
almost  turned  to  marble. 





The  Warning  of  Mercury  to  Circe. 


The  house  of  Circe — Men  changed  into  beasts — The  voyage  to  hell — 
The  banquet  of  the  dead. 

On  went  the  single  ship  till  it  came  to  the  island  of 
iEea,  where  Circe  the  dreadful  daughter  of  the  Sun 
dwelt.  She  was  deeply  skilled  in  magic,  a  haughty 
beauty,  and  had  hair  like  the  Sun.  The  Sun  was  her 
parent,  and  begot  her  and  her  brother  Aretes  (such 
another  as  herself)  upon  Perse,  daughter  to  Oceanus. 

Here  a  dispute  arose  among  Ulysses’  men,  which  of 

them  should  go  ashore  and  explore  the  country  ;  for 

there  was  a  necessity  that  some  should  go  to  procure 

water  and  provisions,  their  stock  of  both  being  nigh 

spent  :  but  their  hearts  failed  them  when  they  called  to 

mind  the  shocking  fate  of  their  fellows  whom  the 

Laestrygonians  had  eaten,  and  those  which  the  foul 

Cyclop  Polyphemus  had  crushed  between  his  jaws  * 

which  moved  them  so  tenderly  in  the  recollection  that 

they  wept.  But  tears  never  yet  supplied  any  man’s 

wants  ;  this  Ulysses  knew  full  well,  and  dividing  his 

men  (all  that  were  left)  into  two  companies,  at  the  head 




of  one  of  which  was  himself,  and  at  the  head  of  the 
other  Eurylochus,  a  man  of  tried  courage,  he  cast  lots 
which  of  them  should  go  up  into  the  country,  and  the 
lot  fell  upon  Eurylochus  and  his  company,  two  and 
twenty  in  number  ;  who  took  their  leave,  with  tears,  of 
Ulysses  and  his  men  that  stayed,  whose  eyes  wore  the 
same  wet  badges  of  weak  humanity,  for  they  surely 
thought  never  to  see  these  their  companions  again,  but 
that  on  every  coast  where  they  should  come,  they  should 
find  nothing  but  savages  and  cannibals. 

Eurylochus  and  his  party  proceeded  up  the  country, 
till  in  a  dale  they  descried  the  house  of  Circe,  built  of 
bright  stone,  by  the  road’s  side.  Before  her  gate  lay 
many  beasts,  as  wolves,  lions,  leopards,  which,  by  her 
art,  of  wild  she  had  rendered  tame.  These  arose  when 
they  saw  strangers,  and  ramped  upon  their  hinder  paws, 
and  fawned  upon  Eurylochus  and  his  men,  who  dreaded 
the  effects  of  such  monstrous  kindness  ;  and  staying-  at 
the  gate  they  heard  the  enchantress  within,  sitting  at 
her  loom,  singing  such  strains  as  suspended  all  mortal 
faculties,  while  she  wove  a  web,  subtle  and  glorious,  and 
of  texture  inimitable  on  earth,  as  all  the  housewiferies 
of  the  deities  are.  Strains  so  ravishingly  sweet  pro¬ 
voked  even  the  sagest  and  prudentest  heads  among  the 
party  to  knock  and  call  at  the  gate.  The  shining  gate 
the  enchantress  opened,  and  bade  them  come  in  and 
feast.  They  unwise  followed,  all  but  Eurylochus,  who 
stayed  without  the  gate,  suspicious  that  some  train  was 
laid  for  them.  Being  entered,  she  placed  them  in 



chairs  of  state,  and  set  before  them  meal  and  honey  and 
Smyrna  wine  ;  bnt  mixed  with  baneful  drugs  of  power¬ 
ful  enchantment.  When  they  had  eaten  of  these,  and 
drunk  of  her  cup,  she  touched  them  with  her  charming- 
rod,  and  straight  they  were  transformed  into  swine, 
having  the  bodies  of  the  swine,  the  bristles,  and  snout, 
and  grunting  noise  of  that  animal  ;  only  they  still 
retained  the  minds  of  men,  which' made  them  the  more 
to  lament  their  brutish  transformation.  Having;  changed 
them,  she  shut  them  up  in  her  sty  with  many  more 
whom  her  wicked  sorceries  had  formerly  changed,  and 
gave  them  swine’s  food,  mast,  and  acorns,  and  chestnuts, 
to  eat. 

Burylochus,  who  beheld  nothing  of  these  sad  changes 
from  where  he  was  stationed  without  the  gate,  only 
instead  of  his  companions  that  entered  (who  he  thought 
had  all  vanished  by  witchcraft)  beheld  a  herd  of  swine, 
hurried  back  to  the  ship,  to  give  an  account  of  what  he 
had  seen  :  blit  so  frightened  and  perplexed,  that  he  could 
give  no  distinct  report  of  anything,  only  he  remembered 
a  palace,  and  a  woman  singing  at  her  work,  and  gates 
guarded  by  lions.  But  his  companions,  he  said,  were 
all  vanished. 

Then  Ulysses  suspecting  some  fonl  witchcraft, 
•snatched  his  sword,  and  his  bow,  and  commanded 
Burylochus  instantly  to  lead  him  to  the  place.  But 
Burylochus  fell  down,  and  embracing  his  knees,  be¬ 
sought  him  by  the  name  of  a  man  whom  the  gods  had 



iii  their  protection,  not  to  expose  his  safety,  and  the 
safety  of  them  all,  to  certain  destruction. 

“Do  thou  then  stay,  Eurylochus  ! ”  answered  Ulysses  : 
“eat  thou  and  drink  in  the  ship  in  safety  ;  while  I  go 
alone  upon  this  adventure  :  necessity,  from  whose  law 
is  no  appeal,  compels  me.” 

So  saying  he  quitted  the  ship  and  went  on  shore, 
accompanied  by  none  ;  none  had  the  hardihood  to  offer 
to  partake  that  perilous  adventure  with  him,  so  much 
they  dreaded  the  enchantments  of  the  witch.  Singly 
he  pursued  his  journey  till  he  came  to  the  shining  gates 
which  stood  before  her  mansion  :  but  when  he  essayed 
to  put  his  foot  over  her  threshold,  he  was  suddenly 
stopped  by  the  apparition  of  a  young  man,  bearing  a 
golden  rod  in  his  hand,  who  was  the  god  Mercury.  He 
held  Ulysses  by  the  wrist,  to  stay  his  entrance  ;  and 
“  Whither  wonldest  thon  go  ?  ”  he  said  ;  “  O,  thou  most 
erring  of  the  sons  of  men  !  knowest  thou  not  that  this  is 
the  house  of  great  Circe,  where  she  keeps  thy  friends  in 
a  loathsome  sty,  changed  from  the  fair  forms  of  men 
into  the  detestable  and  ugly  shapes  of  swine  ?  art  thou 
prepared  to  share  their  fate,  from  which  nothing  can 
ransom  thee?”  But  neither  his  words,  nor  his  coming 
from  heaven,  could  stop  the  daring  foot  of  Ulysses, 
whom  compassion  for  the  misfortune  of  his  friends  had 
rendered  careless  of  danger  :  which  when  the  god  per¬ 
ceived,  he  had  pity  to  see  valor  so  misplaced,  and  gave 
him  the  flower  of  the  herb  moly ,  which  is  sovereign 
against  enchantments.  The  moly  is  a  small  unsightly 

Mercury  Instructing  Ulysses  how  to  Resist  Circe. 



root,  its  virtues  but  little  known,  and  in  low  estimation  • 
the  dull  shepherd  treads  on  it  every  day  with  his  clouted 
shoes  ;  but  it  bears  a  small  white  flower,  which  is 
medicinal  against  charms,  blights,  mildews,  and  damps. 
— “Take  this  in  thy  hand,”  said  Mercury,  “and  with 
it  boldly  enter  her  gates  :  when  she  shall  strike  thee 
with  her  rod,  thinking  to  change  thee,  as  she  has 
changed  thy  friends,  boldly  rush  in  upon  her  with  thy 
sword,  and  extort  from  her  the  dreadful  oath  of  the 
gods,  that  she  will  use  no  enchantments  against  thee  : 
then  force  her  to  restore  thy  abused  companions.”  He 
gave  Ulysses  the  little  white  flower,  and  instructing  him 
how  to  use  it,  vanished. 

When  the  god  was  departed,  Ulysses  with  loud  knock- 
ings  beat  at  the  gate  of  the  palace.  The  shining  gates 
were  opened,  as  before,  and  great  Circe  with  hospitable 
cheer  invited  in  her  guest.  She  placed  him  on  a  throne 
with  more  distinction  than  she  had  used  to  his  fellows, 
she  mingled  wine  in  a  costly  bowl,  and  he  drank  of  it, 
mixed  with  those  poisonous  drugs.  When  he  had 
drunk,  she  struck  him  with  her  charming-rod,  and 
“To  your  sty,”  she  cried  ;  “out,  swine;  mingle  with 
your  companions.”  But  those  powerful  words  were  not 
proof  against  the  preservative  which  Mercury  had  given 
to  Ulysses  ;  he  remained  unchanged,  and  as  the  god 
had  directed  him,  boldly  charged  the  witch  with  his 
sword,  as  if  he  meant  to  take  her  life  :  which  when  she 
saw,  and  perceived  that  her  charms  were  weak  against 
the  antidote  which  Ulysses  bore  about  him,  she  cried 


out  and  bent  her  knees  beneath  his  sword,  embracing 
his,  and  said,  l'  Who  or  what  manner  of  man  art  thou? 
Never  drank  any  man  before  thee  of  this  cup,  but  he 
repented  it  in  some  brute’s  form.  Thy  shape  remains 
unaltered  as  thy  mind.  Thou  canst  be  none  other  than 
Ulysses,  renowned  above  all  the  world  for  wisdom, 
whom  the  fates  have  long  since  decreed  that  I  must  love. 
This  haughty  bosom  bends  to  thee.  O  Ithacan,  a 
goddess  woos  thee  to  her  bed.” 

“  O  Circe,”  he  replied,  “  how  canst  thou  treat  of  love 
or  marriage  with  one  whose  friends  thou  hast  turned 
into  beasts  ?  and  now  offerest  him  thy  hand  in  wedlock, 
only  that  thou  miglitest  have  him  in  thy  power,  to  live 
the  life  of  a  beast  with  thee,  naked,  effeminate,  subject 
to  thy  will,  perhaps  to  be  advanced  in  time  to  the  honor 
of  a  place  in  thy  sty.  What  pleasure  canst  thou  promise, 
which  may  tempt  the  soul  of  a  reasonable  man  ?  thy 
meats,  spiced  with  poison  ;  or  thy  wines,  drugged  with 
death?  Thou  must  swear  to  me,  that  thou  wilt  never 
attempt  against  me  the  treasons  which  thou  hast  prac¬ 
tised  upon  my  friends.”  The  enchantress,  won  by  the 
terror  of  his  threats,  or  by  the  violence  of  that  new  love 
which  she  felt  kindling  in  her  veins  for  him,  swore  by 
Styx,  the  great  oath  of  the  gods,  that  she  meditated  no 
injury  to  him.  Then  Ulysses  made  show  of  gentler 
treatment,  which  gave  her  hopes  of  inspiring  him  with 
a  passion  equal  to  that  which  she  felt.  She  called  her 
handmaids,  four  that  served  her  in  chief,  who  were 
daughters  to  her  silver  fountains,  to  her  sacred  rivers, 



and  to  her  consecrated  woods,  to  deck  her  apartments, 

to  spread  rich  carpets,  and  set  out  her  silver  tables  with 

dishes  of  the  purest  gold,  and  meat  as  precious  as  that 

which  the  gods  eat,  to  entertain  her  guest.  One 

brought  water  to  wash  his  feet,  and  one  brought  wine 

to  chase  away,  with  a  refreshing  sweetness,  the  sorrows 

that  had  come  of  late  so  thick  upon  him  and  hurt  his 

noble  mind.  They  strewed  perfumes  on  his  head,  and 

after  he  had  bathed  in  a  bath  of  the  choicest  aromatics, 

they  brought  him  rich  and  costly  apparel  to  put  on. 

Then  he  was  conducted  to  a  throne  of  massive  silver, 

and  a  regale,  fit  for  Jove  when  he  banquets,  was  placed 

before  him.  But  the  feast  which  Ulysses  desired  was  to 

see  his  friends  (the  partners  of  his  voyage)  once  more  in 

the  shapes  of  men  ;  and  the  food  which  could  give  him 

nourishment  must  be  taken  in  at  his  eyes.  Because  he 

missed  this  sight,  he  sat  melancholy  and  thoughtful,  and 

would  taste  of  none  of  the  rich  delicacies  placed  before 

him.  Which  when  Circe  noted,  she  easily  divined  the 

cause  of  his  sadness,  and  leaving  the  seat  in  which  she 

sat  throned,  went  to  her  sty,  and  led  abroad  his  men, 

who  came  in  like  swine,  and  filled  the  ample  hall,  where 

Ulysses  sat,  with  grantings.  Hardly  had  he  time  to  let 

his  sad  eye  run  over  their  altered  forms  and  brutal 

metamorphosis,  when  with  an  ointment  which  she 

smeared  over  them,  suddenly  their  bristles  fell  off,  and 

they  started  up  in  their  own  shapes  men  as  before. 

They  knew  their  leader  again,  and  clung  about  him 

with  joy  of  their  late  restoration,  and  some  shame  for 


their  late  change;  and  wept  so  lond,  blubbering  out 
their  joy  in  broken  accents,  that  the  palace  was  filled 
with  a  sound  of  pleasing  mourning,  and  the  witch  her¬ 
self,  great  Circe,  was  not  unmoved  at  the  sight.  To 
make  her  atonement  complete,  she  sent  for  the  remnant 
of  Ulysses’  men  who  stayed  behind  at  the  ship,  giving 
up  their  great  commander  for  lost  ;  who  when  they 
came,  and  saw  him  again  alive,  circled  with  their  fel¬ 
lows,  no  expression  can  tell  what  joy  they  felt ;  they 
even  cried  out  with  rapture,  and  to  have  seen  their 
frantic  expressions  of  mirth,  a  man  might  have  supposed 
that  they  were  just  in  sight  of  their  country  earth,  the 
cliffs  of  rocky  Ithaca.  Only  Bury  loch  us  would  hardly 
be  persuaded  to  enter  that  palace  of  wonders,  for  he 
remembered  with  a  kind  of  horror  how  his  companions 
had  vanished  from  sight. 

Then  great  Circe  spake,  and  gave  order,  that  there 
should  be  no  more  sadness  among  them,  nor  remember¬ 
ing  of  past  sufferings.  For  as  yet  they  feared  like  men 
that  are  exiles  from  their  country,  and  if  a  gleam  of  mirth 
shot  among  them,  it  was  suddenly  quenched  with  the 
thought  of  their  helpless  and  homeless  condition.  Her 
kind  persuasions  wrought  upon  Ulysses  and  the  rest, 
that  they  spent  twelve  months  in  all  manner  of  delight 
with  her  in  her  palace.  For  Circe  was  a  powerful 
magician,  and  conld  command  the  moon  from  her 
sphere,  or  unroot  the  solid  oak  from  its  place  to  make  it 
dance  for  their  diversion,  and  by  the  help  of  her  illusions 
she  conld  vary  the  taste  of  pleasures,  and  contrive 



delights,  recreations,  and  jolly  pastimes,  to  “fetch  the 
day  abont  from  sun  to  sun,  and  rock  the  tedious  year  as 
in  a  delightful  dream.” 

At  length  Ulysses  awoke  from  the  trance  of  the 
faculties  into  which  her  charms  had  thrown  him,  and 
the  thought  of  home  returned  with  tenfold  vigor  to 
goad  and  sting  him  ;  that  home  where  he  had  left  his 
virtuous  wife  Penelope,  and  his  young  sou  Telemachus. 
One  day  when  Circe  had  been  lavish  of  her  caresses, 
and  was  in  her  kindest  humor,  he  moved  to  her  subtly, 
and  as  it  were  afar  off,  the  question  of  his  home-return  ; 
to  which  she  answered  firmly,  “O  Ulysses,  it  is  not  in 
my  power  to  detain  one  whom  the  gods  have  destined 
to  further  trials.  But  leaving  me,  before  you  pursue 
your  journey  home,  you  must  visit  the  house  of  Hades, 
or  Death,  to  consult  the  shade  of  Tiresias  the  Theban 
prophet  ;  to  whom  alone,  of  all  the  dead,  Proserpine, 
queen  of  hell,  has  committed  the  secret  of  future  events  : 
it  is  he  that  must  inform  you  whether  you  shall  ever 
see  again  your  wife  and  country.”  “O  Circe,”  he 
cried;  “that  is  impossible:  who  shall  steer  my  course 
to  Pluto’s  kingdom?  Never  ship  had  strength  to  make 
that  voyage.”  “Seek  no  guide,”  she  replied;  “but 
raise  your  mast,  and  hoist  your  white  sails,  and  sit  in 
your  ship  in  peace  :  the  north  wind  shall  waft  you 
through  the  seas,  till  you  shall  cross  the  expanse  of  the 
ocean,  and  come  to  where  grow  the  poplar  groves,  and 
willows  pale,  of  Proserpine  :  where  Pyriphlegethon  and 
Cocytus  and  Acheron  mingle  their  waves.  Cocytus  is 



an  arm  of  Styx,  the  forgetful  river.  Here  dig  a  pit,  and 
make  it  a  cubit  broad  and  a  cubit  long,  and  pour  in 
milk  and  honey,  and  wine,  and  the  blood  of  a  ram,  and 
the  blood  of  a  black  ewe,  and  turn  away  thy  face  while 
thou  pourest  in,  and  the  dead  shall  come  flocking  to 
taste  the  milk  and  the  blood  ;  but  suffer  none  to  ap¬ 
proach  thy  offering  till  thou  hast  inquired  of  Tiresias 
all  which  thou  wishest  to  know.” 

He  did  as  great  Circe  had  appointed.  He  raised  his 
mast,  and  hosted  his  white  sails,  and  sat  in  his  ship  in 
peace.  The  north  wind  wafted  him  through  the  seas, 
till  he  crossed  the  ocean,  and  came  to  the  sacred  woods 
of  Proserpine.  He  stood  at  the  confluence  of  the  three 
floods,  and  digged  a  pit,  as  she  had  given  directions,  and 
poured  in  his  offering  ;  the  blood  of  a  ram,  and  the 
blood  of  a  black  ewe,  milk,  and  honey,  and  wine  ;  and 
the  dead  came  to  his  banquet  :  aged  men,  and  women, 
and  youths,  and  children  who  died  in  infancy.  But 
none  of  them  would  he  suffer  to  approach,  and  dip  their 
thin  lips  in  the  offering,  till  Tiresias  was  served,  not 
though  his  own  mother  was  among  the  number,  whom 
now  for  the  first  time  he  knew  to  be  dead,  for  he  had 
left  her  living  when  he  went  to  Troy,  and  she  had  died 
since  his  departure,  and  the  tidings  never  reached  him  : 
though  it  irked  his  soul  to  use  constraint  upon  her,  yet 
in  compliance  with  the  injunction  of  great  Circe,  he 
forced  her  to  retire  along  with  the  other  ghosts.  Then 
Tiresias,  who  bore  a  golden  sceptre,  came  and  lapped 
of  the  offering,  and  immediately  he  knew  Ulysses,  and 



began  to  prophecy  :  he  denounced  woe  to  Ulysses ,  woe , 
ze'oe,  and  many  sufferings ,  through  the  anger  of  Neptune 
for  the  putting  out  of  the  eye  of  the  sea-god' s  son.  Yet 
there  was  safety  after  suffering ,  if  they  could  abstain  from 
slaughtering  the  oxen  of  the  Sun  after  they  landed  in  the 
Triangular  island.  For  Ulysses ,  the  gods  had  destined 
him  from  a  king  to  become  a  beggar ,  and  to  perish  by 
his  own  guests ,  unless  he  slew  those  who  knew  him 

This  prophecy,  ambiguously  delivered,  was  all  that 
Tiresias  was  empowered  to  unfold,  or  else  there  was  no 
longer  place  for  him  ;  for  now  the  souls  of  the  other 
dead  came  flocking  in  such  numbers,  tumultuously 
demanding  the  blood,  that  freezing  horror  seized  the 
limbs  of  the  living  Ulysses,  to  see  so  many,  and  all 
dead,  and  he  the  only  one  alive  in  that  region.  Now 
his  mother  came  and  lapped  the  blood,  without  restraint 
from  her  son,  and  now  she  knew  him  to  be  her  son,  and 
inquired  of  him  why  he  had  come  alive  to  their  com¬ 
fortless  habitations.  And  she  said,  that  affliction  for 
Ulysses’  long  absence  had  prayed  upon  her  spirits,  and 
brought  her  to  the  grave. 

Ulysses’  soul  melted  at  her  moving  narration,  and  for¬ 
getting  the  state  of  the  dead,  and  that  the  airy  texture 
of  disembodied  spirits  does  not  admit  of  the  embraces 
of  flesh  and  blood,  he  threw  his  arms  about  her  to  clasp 
her  :  the  poor  ghost  melted  from  his  embrace,  and  look¬ 
ing  mournfully  upon  him  vanished  away. 

Then  saw  he  other  females — Tyro,  who  when  she 



lived  was  the  paramour  of  Neptune,  and  by  him  had 
Pelias  and  Neleus.  Antiope,  who  bore  two  like  sons  to 
Jove,  Amphion  and  Zethus,  founders  of  Thebes.  Alc- 
mena,  the  mother  of  Hercules,  with  her  fair  daughter, 
afterwards  her  daughter-in-law,  Megara.  There  also 
Ulysses  saw  Jocasta,  the  unfortunate  mother  and  wife 
of  CEdipus  ;  who  ignorant  of  kin  wedded  with  her  son, 
and  when  she  bad  discovered  the  unnatural  alliance,  for 
shame  and  grief  hanged  herself.  He  continued  to  drag 
a  wretched  life  above  the  earth,  haunted  by  the  dreadful 
Furies.- — There  was  Eeda,  the  wife  of  Tyndarus,  the 
mother  of  the  beautiful  Helen,  and  of  the  two  brave 
brothers,  Castor  and  Pollux,  who  obtained  this  grace 
from  Jove,  that  being  dead,  they  should  enjoy  life 
alternately,  living  in  pleasant  places  under  the  earth. 
For  Pollux  had  prayed  that  his  brother  Castor,  who  was 
subjected  to  death,  as  the  son  of  Tyndarus,  should  par¬ 
take  of  his  own  immortality,  which  he  derived  from  an 
immortal  sire  :  this  the  Fates  denied  ;  therefore  Pollux 
was  permitted  to  divide  his  immortality  with  his 
brother  Castor,  dying  and  living  alternately. — There  was 
Ipliimedeia,  who  bore  two  sons  to  Neptune  that  were 
giants,  Otus  and  Ephialtes  :  Earth  in  her  prodigality 
never  nourished  bodies  to  such  portentous  size  and 
beauty  as  these  two  children  were  of,  except  Orion.  At 
nine  years  old  they  had  imaginations  of  climbing  to 
heaven  to  see  what  the  gods  were  doing  ;  they  thought 
to  make  stairs  of  mountains,  and  were  for  piling  Ossa 
upon  Olympus,  and  setting  Pelion  upon  that,  and  had 



perhaps  performed  it,  if  they  had  lived  till  they  were 

striplings  ;  but  they  were  cut  off  by  death  in  the  infancy 


of  their  ambitious  project. — Phsedra  was  there,  and 
Procris,  and  Ariadne,  mournful  for  Theseus’  desertion, 
and  Msera,  and  Clymene,  and  Eryphile,  who  preferred 
gold  before  wedlock  faith. 

But  now  came  a  mournful  ghost,  that  late  was  Aga¬ 
memnon,  son  of  Atreus,  the  mighty  leader  of  all  the 
host  of  Greece  and  their  confederate  kings  that  warred 
against  Troy.  He  came  with  the  rest  to  sip  a  little  of 
the  blood  at  that  uncomfortable  banqiiet.  Ulysses  was 
moved  with  compassion  to  see  him  among  them,  and 
asked  him  what  untimely  fate  had  brought  him  there, 
if  storms  had  overwhelmed  him  coming  from  Troy,  or 
if  he  had  perished  in  some  mutiny  by  his  own  soldiers 
at  a  division  of  the  prey. 

“By  none  of  these,”  he  replied,  “did  I  come  to  my 
death,  but  slain  at  a  banquet  to  which  I  was  invited  by 
iEgisthus  after  my  return  home.  He  conspiring  with 
my  adulterous  wife,  they  laid  a  scheme  for  my  destruc¬ 
tion,  training  me  forth  to  a  banquet  as  au  ox  goes  to  the 
slaughter,  and  there  surrounding  me  they  slew  me  with 
all  my  friends  about  me. 

“  Clytemnestra,  my  wicked  wife,  forgetting  the  vows 
which  she  swore  to  me  in  wedlock,  would  not  lend  a 
hand  to  close  my  eyes  in  death.  But  nothing  is  so 
heaped  with  impieties  as  such  a  woman,  who  would  kill 
her  spouse  that  married  her  a  maid.  When  I  brought 
her  home  to  my  house  a  bride,  I  hoped  in  my  heart  that 



slie  would  be  loving  to  me  and  to  my  children.  Now, 
her  black  treacheries  have  cast  a  foul  aspersioii  on  her 
whole  sex.  Blest  husbands  will  have  their  loving  wives 
in  suspicion  for  her  bad  deeds.” 

“Alas!”  said  Ulysses,  “there  seems  to  be  a  fatal¬ 
ity  in  your  royal  house  of  Atreus,  and  that  they  are 
hated  of  Jove  for  their  wives.  For  Helen’s  sake,  your 
brother  Menelaus’  wife,  what  multitudes  fell  in  the  wars 
of  Troy  !  ’  ’ 

Agamemnon  replied,  “For  this  cause  be  not  thou 
more  kind  than  wise  to  any  woman.  Uet  not  thy  words 
express  to  her  at  any  time  all  that  is  in  thy  mind,  keep 
still  some  secrets  to  thyself.  But  thou  by  any  bloody 
contrivances  of  thy  wife  never  need’st  fear  to  fall.  Ex¬ 
ceeding  wise  she  is,  and  to  her  wisdom  she  has  a  good¬ 
ness  as  eminent  :  Icarius’  daughter,  Penelope  the 
chaste  :  we  left  her  a  young  bride  when  we  parted  from 
our  wives  to  go  to  the  wars,  her  first  child  suckling  at 
her  breast,  the  young  Telemachus,  whom  you  shall  see 
grown  up  to  manhood  on  your  return,  and  he  shall 
greet  his  father  with  befitting  welcomes.  My  Orestes, 
my  dear  son,  I  shall  never  see  again.  His  mother  has 
deprived  his  father  of  the  sight  of  him,  and  perhaps 
will  slay  him  as  she  slew  his  sire.  It  is  now  no  world 
to  trust  a  woman  in — But  what  says  fame  ?  is  my  son 
yet  alive?  lives  he  in  Orchomen,  or  in  Pylus,  or  is  he 
resident  in  Sparta,  in  his  uncle’s  court?  as  yet,  I  see, 
divine  Orestes  is  not  here  with  me.” 

To  this  Ulysses  replied  that  he  had  received  no  certain 



tidings  where  Orestes  abode,  only  some  uncertain 
rumors  which  he  could  not  report  fox  truth. 

While  they  held  this  sad  conference,  with  kind  tears 
striving  to  render  unkind  fortunes  more  palatable,  the 
soul  of  great  Achilles  joined  them.  “What  desperate 
adventure  has  brought  Ulysses  to  these  regions,”  said 
Achilles,  “to  see  the  end  of  dead  men  and  their  foolish 
shades  ? ” 

Ulysses  answered  him  that  he  had  come  to  consult 
Tiresias  respecting  his  voyage  home.  “But  thou,  O 
son  of  Thetis,”  said  he,  “  why  dost  thou  disparage  the 
state  of  the  dead  ?  seeing  that  as  alive  thou  didst  sur¬ 
pass  all  men  in  glory,  thou  must  needs  retain  thy  pre¬ 
eminence  here  below  :  so  great  Achilles  triumphs  over 

But  Achilles  made  reply  that  he  had  much  rather  be 
a  peasant-slave  upon  the  earth  than  reign  over  all  the 
dead.  So  much  did  the  inactivity  and  slothful  condition 
of  that  state  displease  his  unquenchable  and  restless 
spirit.  Only  he  inquired  of  Ulysses  if  his  father  Peleus 
were  living,  and  how  his  son  Neoptolemus  conducted 

Of  Peleus  Ulysses  could  tell  him  nothing  :  but  of 
Neoptolemus  he  thus  bore  witness:  “  From  Scyros  I 
convoyed  your  son  by  sea  to  the  Greeks,  where  I  can 
speak  of  him,  for  I  knew  him.  He  was  chief  in  council 
and  in  the  field.  When  any  question  was  proposed,  so 
quick  was  his  conceit  in  the  forward  apprehension  of  any 
case,  that  he  ever  spoke  first,  and  was  heard  with  more 



attention  than  the  older  heads.  Only  myself  and  aged 
Nestor  could  compare  with  him  in  giving  advice.  In 
battle  I  cannot  speak  his  praise,  unless  I  could  count  all 
that  fell  by  his  sword.  I  will  only  mention  one  instance 
of  his  manhood.  When  we  sat  hid  in  the  belly  of  the 
wooden  horse,  in  the  ambush  which  deceived  the  Tro¬ 
jans  to  their  destruction,  I,  who  had  the  management 
of  that  stratagem,  still  shifted  my  place  from  side  to 
side  to  note  the  behavior  of  our  men.  In  some  I 
marked  their  hearts  trembling,  through  all  the  pains 
which  they  took  to  appear  valiant,  and  in  others  tears, 
that  in  spite  of  manly  courage  would  gush  forth.  And 
to  say  truth,  it  was  an  adventure  of  high  enterprise,  and 
as  perilous  a  stake  as  was  ever  played  in  war’s  game. 
But  in  him  I  could  not  observe  the  least  sign  of  weak¬ 
ness,  no  tears  nor  tremblings,  but  his  hand  still  on  his 
good  sword,  and  ever  urging  me  to  set  open  the  machine 
and  let  us  out  before  the  time  was  come  for  doing  it ; 
and  when  we  sallied  out  he  was  still  first  in  that  fierce 
destruction  and  bloody  midnight  desolation  of  King 
Priam’s  city.” 

This  made  the  soul  of  Achilles  to  tread  a  swifter 
pace,  with  high-raised  feet,  as  he  vanished  away,  for 
the  joy  which  he  took  in  his  son  being  applauded  by 

A  sad  shade  stalked  by,  which  Ulysses  knew  to  be  the 
ghost  of  Ajax,  his  opponent,  when  living,  in  that  famous, 
dispute  about  the  right  of  succeeding  to  the  arms  of  the 
deceased  Achilles.  They  being  adjudged  by  the  Greeks. 



to  Ulysses,  as  the  prize  of  wisdom  above  bodily  strength, 
the  noble  Ajax  in  despite  went  mad,  and  slew  himself. 
The  sight  of  his  rival  turned  to  a  shade  by  his  dispute, 
so  subdued  the  passion  of  emulation  in  Ulysses,  that  for 
his  sake  he  wished  that  judgment  in  that  controversy 
had  been  given  against  himself,  rather  than  so  illustrious 
a  chief  should  have  perished  for  the  desire  of  those  arms, 
which  his  prowess  (second  only  to  Achilles  in  fight)  so 
eminently  had  deserved.  “Ajax,”  he  cried,  “all  the 
Greeks  mourn  for  thee  as  much  as  they  lamented  for 
Achilles.  Let  not  thy  wrath  burn  forever,  great  son  of 
Telamon.  Ulysses  seeks  peace  with  thee,  and  will  make 
any  atonement  to  thee  that  can  appease  thy  hurt  spirit.” 
But  the  shade  stalked  on,  and  would  not  exchange  a 
word  with  Ulysses,  though  he  prayed  it  with  many  tears 
and  many  earnest  entreaties.  “He  might  have  spoke 
to  me,”  said  Ulysses,  “since  I  spoke  to  him  ;  but  I  see 
the  resentments  of  the  dead  are  eternal.” 

Then  Ulysses  saw  a  throne,  on  which  was  placed  a 
judge  distributing  sentence.  He  that  sat  on  the  throne 
was  Minos,  and  he  was  dealing  out  just  judgments  to  the 
dead.  He  it  is  that  assigns  them  their  place  in  bliss  or 

Then  came  by  a  thundering  ghost,  the  large-limbed 
Orion,  the  mighty  hunter,  who  was  hunting  there  the 
ghosts  of  the  beasts  which  he  had  slaughtered  in  desert 
hills  upon  the  earth  ;  for  the  dead  delight  in  the  occupa¬ 
tions  which  pleased  them  in  the  time  of  their  living  upon 
the  earth. 



There  was  Tityus  suffering  eternal  pains  because  he 
had  sought  to  violate  the  honor  of  Latona  as  she  passed 
from  Pytho  into  Panopeus.  Two  vultures  sat  perpetually 
preying  upon  his  liver  with  their  crooked  beaks,  which 
as  fast  as  they  devoured  is  forever  renewed  ;  nor  can  he 
fray  them  away  with  his  great  hands. 

There  was  Tantalus,  plagued  for  his  great  sins,  stand¬ 
ing  up  to  the  chin  in  water,  which  he  can  never  taste, 
but  still  as  he  bows  his  head,  thinking  to  quench  his 
burning  thirst,  instead  of  water  lie  licks  up  unsavory 
dust.  All  fruits  pleasant  to  the  sight,  and  of  delicious 
flavor,  hang  in  ripe  clusters  about  his  head,  seeming  as 
though  they  offered  themselves  to  be  plucked  by  him  ; 
but  when  he  reaches  out  his  hand,  some  wind  carries 
them  far  out  of  his  sight  into  the  clouds,  so  he  is 
starved  in  the  midst  of  plenty  by  the  righteous  doom  of 
Jove,  in  memory  of  that  inhuman  banquet  at  which  the 
sun  turned  pale,  when  the  unnatural  father  served  up 
the  limbs  of  his  little  son  in  a  dish,  as  meat  for  his  divine 

There  was  Sisyphus,  that  sees  no  end  to  his  labors. 
His  punishment  is,  to  be  forever  rolling  up  a  vast  stone 
to  the  top  of  a  mountain,  which  when  it  gets  to  the  top, 
falls  down  with  a  crushing  weight,  and  all  his  work  is  to 
be  begun  again.  He  was  bathed  all  over  in  sweat,  that 
reeked  out  a  smoke  which  covered  his  head  like  a  mist. 
His  crime  had  been  the  revealing  of  state  secrets. 

There  Ulysses  saw  Hercules  :  not  that  Hercules  who 
enjoys  immortal  life  in  heaven  among  the  gods,  and  is 



married  to  Hebe  or  Youth,  but  his  shadow  which  remains 
below.  About  him  the  dead  flocked  as  thick  as  bats, 
hovering  around,  and  cuffing  at  his  head  :  he  stands 
with  his  dreadful  bow,  ever  in  the  act  to  shoot. 

There  also  might  Ulysses  have  seen  and  spoken  with 
the  shades  of  Theseus,  and  Pirithous,  and  the  old  heroes  ; 
but  he  had  conversed  enough  with  horrors ;  therefore, 
covering  his  face  with  his  hands,  that  he  might  see  no 
more  spectres,  he  resumed  his  seat  in  his  ship,  and 
pushed  off.  The  barque  moved  of  itself  without  the  help 
of  any  oar,  and  soon  brought  him  out  of  the  regions  of 
death  into  the  cheerful  quarters  of  the  living,  and  to  the 
island  of  -Dea,  whence  he  had  set  forth. 

Circe  Warns  Ulysses  of  the  Sirens. 


The  song  of  the  Sirens — Seylla  and  Charybdis — The  oxen  of  the  Sun 
— The  judgment — The  crew  killed  by  lightning 

“Unhappy  mail,  who  at  thy  birth  wast  appointed 
twice  to  die  !  others  shall  die  once  :  but  thou,  besides 
that  death  that  remains  for  thee,  common  to  all  men, 
hast  in  thy  lifetime  visited  the  shades  of  death.  Thee 
Seylla,  thee  Charybdis,  expect.  Thee  the  deathful 
Sirens  lie  in  wait  for,  that  taint  the  minds  of  whoever 
listen  to  them  with  their  sweet  singing.  Whosoever 
shall  but  hear  the  call  of  any  Siren,  he  will  so  despise 
both  wife  and  children  through  their  sorceries,  that  the 
stream  of  his  affection  never  again  shall  set  homewards, 
nor  shall  he  take  joy  in  wife  or  children  thereafter,  or 
they  in  him.” 

With  these  prophetic  greetings  great  Circe  met 
Ulysses  on  his  return.  He  besought  her  to  instruct  him 
in  the  nature  of  the  Sirens,  and  by  what  method  their 

baneful  allurements  were  to  be  resisted. 




“They  are  sisters  three,”  she  replied,  “that  sit  in  a 
mead  (by  which  your  ship  must  needs  pass)  circled  with 
dead  men’s  bones.  These  are  the  bones  of  men  whom 
they  have  slain,  after  with  fawning  invitements  they 
have  enticed  them  into  their  fen.  Yet  such  is  the 
celestial  harmony  of  their  voice  accompanying  the  per¬ 
suasive  magic  of  their  words,  that  knowing  this,  you 
shall  not  be  able  to  withstand  their  enticements.  There¬ 
fore  when  you  are  to  sail  by  them,  you  shall  stop  the 
ears  of  your  companions  with  wax,  that  they  may  hear 
no  note  of  that  dangerous  music  ;  but  for  yourself,  that 
you  may  hear,  and  yet  live,  give  them  strict  command 
to  bind  you  hand  and  foot  to  the  mast,  and  in  no  case  to 
set  you  free,  till  you  are  out  of  the  danger  of  the  tempta¬ 
tion,  though  you  should  entreat  it,  and  implore  it 
ever  so  much,  but  to  bind  you  rather  the  more  for 
your  requesting  to  be  loosed.  So  shall  you  escape  that 

Ulysses  then  prayed  her  that  she  would  inform  him 
what  Scvlla  and  Charybdis  were,  which  she  had  taught 
him  by  name  to  fear.  She  replied  :  “Sailing  from  iEea 
to  Trinacria,  you  must  pass  at  an  equal  distance  between 
two  fatal  rocks.  Incline  never  so  little  either  to  the  one 
side  or  the  other,  and  your  ship  must  meet  with  certain 
destruction.  No  vessel  ever  yet  tried  that  pass  without 
being  lost,  but  the  Argo,  which  owed  her  safety  to  the 
sacred  freight  she  bore,  the  fleece  of  the  golden-backed 
ram,  which  could  not  perish.  The  biggest  of  these 

rocks  which  you  shall  come  to,  Scylla  hath  in  charge. 




There,  ill  a  deep  whirlpool  at  the  foot  of  the  rock,  the 
abhorred  monster  shrouds  her  face  ;  who  if  she  were  to 
show  her  full  form,  no  eye  of  man  or  god  could  endure 
the  sight ;  thence  she  stretches  out  all  her  six  long 
necks  peering  and  diving  to  suck  up  fish,  dolphins,  dog¬ 
fish,  and  whales,  whole  ships,  and  their  men,  whatever 
comes  within  her  raging  gulf.  The  other  rock  is  lesser, 
and  of  less  ominous  aspect  ;  but  there  dreadful 
Charybdis  sits,  supping  the  black  deeps.  Thrice  a  day 
she  drinks  her  pits  dry,  and  thrice  a  day  again  she 
belches  them  all  up  :  but  when  she  is  drinking,  come 
not  nigh,  for  being  once  caught,  the  force  of  Neptune 
cannot  redeem  you  from  her  swallow.  Better  trust  to 
Scylla,  for  she  will  but  have  for  her  six  necks,  six  men  : 
Charybdis  in  her  insatiate  draught  will  ask  all.” 

Then  Ulysses  inquired,  in  case  he  should  escape 
Charybdis,  whether  he  might  not  assail  that  other  mon¬ 
ster  with  his  sword  :  to  which  she  replied  that  he  must 
not  think  that  he  had  an  enemy  subject  to  death,  or 
wounds,  to  contend  with  :  for  Scylla  could  never  die. 
Therefore,  his  best  safety  was  in  flight,  and  to  invoke 
none  of  the  gods  but  Gratis,  who  is  Scylla’ s  mother,  and 
might  perhaps  forbid  her  daughter  to  devour  them.  For 
his  conduct  after  he  arrived  at  Trinacria  she  referred 
him  to  the  admonitions  which  had  been  given  him  by 

Ulysses  having  communicated  her  instructions,  as  far 
as  related  to  the  Sirens,  to  his  companions,  who  had  not 
been  present  at  that  interview  ;  but  concealing  from 


them  the  rest,  as  he  had  done  the  terrible  predictions  of 
Tiresias,  that  they  might  not  be  deterred  by  fear  from 
pursuing  their  voyage  :  the  time  for  departure  being 
come,  they  set  their  sails,  and  took  a  final  leave  of 
great  Circe  ;  who  by  her  art  calmed  the  heavens,  and 
gave  them  smooth  seas,  and  a  right  fore  wind  (the  sea¬ 
man’s  friend)  to  bear  them  on  their  way  to  Ithaca. 

They  had  not  sailed  past  a  hundred  leagues  before  the 
breeze  which  Circe  had  lent  them  suddenly  stopped.  It 
was  stricken  dead.  All  the  sea  lay  in  prostrate  slumber. 
Not  a  gasp  of  air  could  be  felt.  The  ship  stood  still. 
Ulysses  guessed  that  the  island  of  the  Sirens  was  not  far 
off,  and  that  they  had  charmed  the  air  so  with  their 
devilish  singing.  Therefore  he  made  him  cakes  of  wax, 
as  Circe  had  instructed  him,  and  stopped  the  ears  of  his 
men  with  them  :  then  causing  himself  to  be  bound  hand 
and  foot,  he  commanded  the  rowers  to  ply  their  oars  and 
row  as  fast  as  speed  could  carry  them  past  that  fatal 
shore.  They  soon  came  within  sight  of  the  Sirens,  who 
sang  in  Ulysses’  hearing  : 

Come  here,  thou,  worthy  of  a  world  of  praise, 

That  dost  so  high  the  Grecian  glory  raise  ; 

Ulysses  !  stay  thy  ship  ;  and  that  song  hear 
That  none  pass’d  ever,  but  it  bent  his  ear, 

But  left  him  ravish’d,  and  instructed  more 
By  us,  than  any,  ever  heard  before. 

For  we  know  all  things,  whatsoever  were 
In  wide  Troy  labor’d  :  whatsoever  there 
The  Grecians  and  the  Trojans  both  sustain’d  : 

By  those  high  issues  that  the  gods  ordain’d : 



Aud  whatsoever  all  the  earth  can  show 
To  inform  a  knowledge  of  desert,  we  know. 

These  were  the  words,  but  the  celestial  harmony  of 
the  voices  which  sang  them  no  tongue  can  describe  :  it 
took  the  ear  of  Ulysses  with  ravishment.  He  would 
have  broke  his  bonds  to  rush  after  them  ;  and  threatened, 
wept,  sued,  entreated,  commanded,  crying  out  with 
tears  and  passionate  imprecations,  conjuring  his  men  by 
all  the  ties  of  perils  past  which  they  had  endured  in 
common,  by  fellowship  and  love,  and  the  authority 
which  he  retained  among  them,  to  let  him  loose  ;  but  at 
no  rate  would  they  obey  him.  And  still  the  Sirens 
sang.  Ulysses  made  signs,  motions,  gestirres,  promising 
mountains  of  gold  if  they  would  set  him  free  ;  but  their 
oars  only  moved  faster.  And  still  the  Sirens  sang. 
And  still  the  more  he  adjured  them  to  set  him  free, 
the  faster  with  cords  and  ropes  they  bound  him  ;  till  they 
were  quite  out  of  hearing  of  the  Sirens’  notes,  whose 
effect  great  Circe  had  so  truly  predicted.  And  well  she 
might  speak  of  them,  for  often  she  had  joined  her  own 
enchanting  voice  to  theirs,  while  she  has  sat  in  the 
flowery  meads,  mingled  with  the  Sirens  and  the  Water 
Nymphs,  gathering  their  potent  herbs  and  drugs  of 
magic  quality  :  their  singing  altogether  has  made 
the  gods  stoop,  aud  “heaven  drowsy  with  the  har¬ 
mony.  ’  ’ 

Escaped  that  peril,  they  had  not  sailed  yet  an  hundred 
leagues  farther,  when  they  heard  a  roar  afar  off,  which 





Ulysses  knew  to  be  the  barking  of  Scylla’ s  dogs,  which 
surround  her  waist,  and  bark  incessantly.  Coming 
nearer  they  beheld  a  smoke  ascending,  with  a  horrid 
murmur,  which  arose  from  that  other  whirlpool,  to 
which  they  made  nigher  approaches  than  to  Scylla. 
Through  the  furious  eddy,  which  is  in  that  place,  the 
ship  stood  still  as  a  stone,  for  there  was  no  man  to  lend 
his  hand  to  an  oar,  the  dismal  roar  of  Scylla’ s  dogs  at  a 
distance,  and  the  nearer  clamors  of  Charybdis,  where 
everything  made  an  echo,  quite  taking  from  them  the 
power  of  exertion.  Ulysses  went  up  and  down  en¬ 
couraging  his  men,  one  by  one,  giving  them  good  words, 
telling  them  that  they  were  in  greater  perils  when  they 
were  blocked  up  in  the  Cyclop’s  cave,  yet,  heaven 
assisting  his  counsels,  he  had  delivered  them  out  of  that 
extremity.  That  he  could  not  believe  but  they  remem¬ 
bered  it  ;  and  wished  them  to  give  the  same  trust  to  the 
same  care  which  he  had  now  for  their  welfare.  That 

they  must  exert  all  the  strength  and  wit  which  they  had,. 


and  try  if  Jove  would  not  grant  them  an  escape  even  out 
of  this  peril.  In  particular  he  cheered  up  the  pilot  who 
sat  at  the  helm,  and  told  him  that  he  must  show  more 
firmness  than  other  men,  as  he  had  more  trust  committed 
to  him,  and  had  the  sole  management  by  his  skill  of  the 
vessel  in  which  all  their  safeties  were  embarked.  That 
a  rock  lay  hid  within  those  boiling  whirlpools  which  he 
saw,  on  the  outside  of  which  he  must  steer,  if  he  would 
avoid  his  own  destruction,  and  the  destruction  of  them 



They  heard  him,  and  like  men  took  to  the  oars  ;  but 
little  knew  what  opposite  danger,  in  shunning  that  rock, 
they  must  be  thrown  upon.  For  Ulysses  had  concealed 
from  them  the  wounds,  never  to  be  healed,  which  Scylla 
was  to  open  :  their  terror  would  else  have  robbed  them 
all  of  all  care  to  steer,  or  move  an  oar,  and  have  made 
them  hide  under  the  hatches  for  fear  of  seeing  her,  where 
he  and  they  must  have  died  an  idle  death.  But  even 
then  he  forgot  the  precautions  which  Circe  had  given 
him  to  prevent  harm  to  his  person  ;  who  had  willed  him 
not  to  arm,  or  show  himself  once  to  Scylla  :  but  dis¬ 
daining  not  to  venture  life  for  his  brave  companions,  he 
could  not  contain,  but  armed  in  all  points,  and  taking  a 
lance  in  either  hand,  he  went  up  to  the  fore  deck,  and 
looked  when  Scylla  would  appear. 

She  did  not  show  herself  as  yet,  and  still  the  vessel 
steered  closer  by  her  rock,  as  it  sought  to  shun  that  other 
more  dreaded  :  for  they  saw  how  horribly  Charybdis’ 
black  throat  drew  into  her  all  the  whirling  deep,  which 
she  disgorged  again,  that  all  about  her  boiled  like  a 
kettle,  and  the  rock  roared  with  troubled  waters  ;  which 
when  she  supped  in  again,  all  the  bottom  turned  up, 
and  disclosed  far  under  shore  the  swart  sands  naked, 
whose  whole  stern  sight  frayed  the  startled  blood  from 
their  faces,  and  made  Ulysses  turn  his  to  view  the  wonder 
of  whirlpools.  Which  when  Scylla  saw,  from  out  her 
black  den,  she  darted  out  her  six  long  necks,  and  swoopt 
up  as  many  of  his  friends  :  whose  cries  Ulysses  heard, 
and  saw  them  too  late,  with  their  heels  turned  up,  and 



their  hands  thrown  to  him  for  succor,  who  had  been 
their  help  in  all  extremities,  bat  could  not  deliver  them 
now  ;  and  he  heard  them  shriek  out,  as  she  tore  them, 
and  to  the  last  they  continued  to  throw  their  hands  out 
to  him  for  sweet  life.  In  all  his  sufferings  he  never  had 
beheld  a  sight  so  full  of  miseries. 

Escaped  from  Scylla  and  Charybdis,  but  with  a 
diminished  crew,  Ulysses  and  the  sad  remains  of  his 
followers  reached  the  Trinacrian  shore.  Here  landing, 
he  beheld  oxen  grazing  of  such  surpassing  size  and 
beauty,  that  both  from  them,  and  from  the  shape  of  the 
island  (having  three  promontories  jutting  into  the  sea) 
he  judged  rightly  that  he  was  come  to  the  Triangular 
island,  and  the  oxen  of  the  Sun,  of  which  Tiresias  had 
forewarned  him. 

So  great  was  his  terror  lest  through  his  own  fault,  or 
that  of  his  men,  any  violence  or  profanation  should  be 
offered  to  the  holy  oxen,  that  even  then,  tired  as  they 
were  with  the  perils  and  fatigues  of  the  day  past,  and 
unable  to  stir  an  oar,  or  use  any  exertion,  and  though 
night  was  fast  coming  on,  he  would  have  them  re-embark 
immediately,  and  make  the  best  of  their  way  from  that 
dangerous  station  ;  but  his  men  with  one  voice  resolutely 
opposed  it,  and  even  the  too  cautious  Eurylochus  him¬ 
self  withstood  the  proposal  :  so  much  did  the  temptation 
of  a  little  ease  and  refreshment  (ease  tenfold  sweet  after 
such  labors)  prevail  over  the  sagest  counsels,  and  the 
apprehension  of  certain  evil  outweigh  the  prospect  of 
contingent  danger.  They  expostulated,  that  the  nerves 



of  Ulysses  seemed  to  be  made  of  steel,  and  his  limbs  not 
liable  to  lassitude  like  other  men’s  ;  that  waking  or 
sleeping  seemed  indifferent  to  him  ;  but  that  they  were 
men,  not  gods,  and  felt  the  common  appetites  for  food 
and  sleep.  That  in  the  night-time  all  the  winds  most 
destructive  to  ships  are  generated.  That  black  night 
still  required  to  be  served  with  meat,  and  sleep,  and 
quiet  havens  and  ease.  That  the  best  sacrifice  to  the 
sea  was  in  the  morning.  With  such  sailor-like  sayings 
and  mutinous  arguments,  which  the  majority  have 
always  ready  to  justify  disobedience  to  their  betters,  they 
forced  Ulysses  to  comply  with  their  requisition,  and 
against  his  will  to  take  up  his  night-quarters  on  shore. 
But  he  first  exacted  from  them  an  oath  that  they  would 
neither  maim  nor  kill  any  of  the  cattle  which  they  saw 
grazing,  but  content  themselves  with  such  food  as  Circe 
had  stowed  their  vessel  with  when  they  parted  from 
^Eea.  This  they  man  by  man  severally  promised, 
imprecating  the  heaviest  curses  on  whoever  should 
break  it ;  and  mooring  their  bark  within  a  creek,  they 
went  to  supper,  contenting  themselves  that  night  with 
such  food  as  Circe  had  given  them,  not  without  many 
sad  thoughts  of  their  friends  whom  Scylla  had  devoured, 
the  grief  of  which  kept  them  great  part  of  the  night 

In  the  morning  Ulysses  urged  them  again  to  a  relig¬ 
ious  observance  of  the  oath  that  they  had  sworn,  not  in 
any  case  to  attempt  the  blood  of  those  fair  herds  which 
they  saw  grazing,  but  to  content  themselves  with  the 



ship’s  food  ;  for  the  god  who  owned  those  cattle  sees  and 
hears  all. 

They  faithfully  obeyed,  and  remained  in  that  good 
mind  for  a  month,  during  which  they  were  confined  to 
that  station  by  contrary  winds,  till  all  the  wine  and  the 
bread  were  gone,  which  they  had  brought  with  them. 
When  their  victuals  were  gone,  necessity  compelled 
them  to  stray  in  quest  of  whatever  fish  or  fowl  they 
could  ensnare,  which  that  coast  did  not  yield  in  any 
great  abundance.  Then  Ulysses  prayed  to  all  the  gods 
that  dwelt  in  bountiful  heaven,  that  they  would  be 
pleased  to  yield  them  some  means  to  stay  their  hunger 
without  having  recourse  to  profane  and  forbidden  viola¬ 
tions  :  but  the  ears  of  heaven  seemed  to  be  shut,  or  some 
god  incensed  plotted  his  ruin  ;  for  at  mid-day,  when  he 
should  chiefly  have  been  vigilant  and  watchful  to  pre¬ 
vent  mischief,  a  deep  sleep  fell  upon  the  eyes  of  Ulysses, 
during  which  he  lay  totally  insensible  of  all  that  passed 
in  the  world,  and  what  his  friends  or  what  his  enemies 
might  do,  for  his  welfare  or  destruction.  Then  Eury- 
lochus  took  his  advantage.  He  was  the  man  of  most 
authority  with  them  after  Ulysses.  He  represented  to 
them  all  the  misery  of  their  condition  ;  how  that  every 
death  is  hateful  and  grievous  to  mortality,  but  that  of 
all  deaths  famine  is  attended  with  the  most  painful, 
loathsome,  and  humiliating  circumstances ;  that  the 
subsistence  which  they  could  hope  to  draw  from  fowling 
or  fishing  was  too  precarious  to  be  depended  upon  ;  that 
there  did  not  seem  to  be  any  chance  of  the  winds  chang- 



ing  to  favor  their  escape,  but  that  they  must  inevitably 
stay  there  and  perish,  if  they  let  an  irrational  super¬ 
stition  deter  them  from  the  means  which  nature  offered 
to  their  hands  ;  that  Ulysses  might  be  deceived  in  his 
belief  that  these  oxen  had  any  sacred  qualities  above 
other  oxen  ;  and  even  admitting  that  they  were  the 
property  of  the  god  of  the  Sun,  as  he  said  they  were,  the 
Sun  did  neither  eat  nor  drink,  and  the  gods  were  best 
served  not  by  a  scrupulous  conscience,  but  by  a  thank¬ 
ful  heart,  which  took  freely  what  they  as  freely  offered  : 
with  these  and  such-like  persuasions  he  prevailed  on  his 
half-famished  and  half-mutinous  companions,  to  begin 
the  impious  violation  of  their  oath  by  the  slaughter  of 
seven  of  the  fairest  of  these  oxen  which  were  grazing. 
Part  they  roasted  and  eat,  and  part  they  offered  in 
sacrifice  to  the  gods,  particularly  to  Apollo,  god  of  the 
Sun,  vowing  to  build  a  temple  to  his  godhead,  when 
they  should  arrive  in  Ithaca,  and  deck  it  with  magnifi¬ 
cent  and  numerous  gifts  :  Vain  men  !  and  superstition 
worse  than  that  which  they  so  lately  derided  !  to 
imagine  that  prospective  penitence  can  excuse  a  present 
violation  of  duty,  and  that  the  pure  natures  of  the 
heavenly  powers  will  admit  of  compromise  or  dispensa¬ 
tion  for  sin. 

But  to  their  feast  they  fell,  dividing  the  roasted  por¬ 
tions  of  the  flesh,  savory  and  pleasant  meat  to  them,  but 
a  sad  sight  to  the  eyes  and  a  savor  of  death  in  the 
nostrils  of  the  waking  Ulysses  ;  who  just  woke  in  time 
to  witness,  but  not  soon  enough  to  prevent,  their  rash 


The  Followers  of  Ulysses  Slay  the  Oxen  of  Apollo. 



and  sacrilegious  banquet.  He  had  scarce  time  to  ask 
what  great  mischief  was  this  which  they  had  done  unto 
him  ;  when  behold,  a  prodigy  !  the  ox-hides  which  they 
had  stripped  began  to  creep,  as  if  they  had  life  ;  and  the 
roasted  flesh  bellowed  as  the  ox  used  to  do  when  he  was 
living.  The  hair  of  Ulysses  stood  up  on  end  with  affright 
at  these  omens  ;  but  his  companions,  like  men  whom  the 
gods  had  infatuated  to  their  destruction,  persisted  in 
their  horrible  banquet. 

The  Sun  from  its  burning  chariot  saw  how  Ulysses’ 
men  had  slain  his  oxen,  and  he  cried  to  his  father  Jove : 
‘  ‘  Revenge  me  upon  these  impious  men  who  have  slain 
my  oxen,  which  it  did  me  good  to  look  upon  when  I 
walked  my  heavenly  round.  In  all  my  daily  course  I 
never  saw  such  bright  and  beautiful  creatures  as  those 
my  oxen  were.”  The  father  promised  that  ample  retri¬ 
bution  should  be  taken  of  those  accursed  men  :  which 
was  fulfilled  shortly  after,  when  they  took  their  leaves 
of  the  fatal  island. 

Six  days  they  feasted  in  spite  of  the  signs  of  heaven, 
and  on  the  seventh,  the  wind  changing,  they  set  their 
sails  and  left  the  island  ;  and  their  hearts  were  cheerful 
with  the  banquets  they  had  held  ;  all  but  the  heart  of 
Ulysses,  which  sank  within  him,  as  with  wet  eyes  he 
beheld  his  friends,  and  gave  them  for  lost,  as  men  de¬ 
voted  to  divine  vengeance.  Which  soon  overtook  them  : 
for  they  had  not  gone  many  leagues  before  a  dreadful 
tempest  arose,  which  burst  their  cables  ;  down  came 
their  mast,  crushing  the  skull  of  the  pilot  in  its  fall ;  off 



lie  fell  from  the  stern  into  the  water,  and  the  bark  want¬ 
ing  his  management  drove  along  at  the  wind’s  mercy  : 
thunders  roared,  and  terrible  lightnings  of  Jove  came 
down  ;  first  a  bolt  struck  Eurylochus,  then  another,  and 
then  another,  till  all  the  crew  were  killed,  and  their 
bodies  swam  about  like  sea-mews  ;  and  the  ship  was 
split  in  pieces  :  only  Ulysses  survived  ;  and  he  had  no 
hope  of  safety  but  in  tying  himself  to  the  mast,  where 
he  sat  riding  upon  the  waves,  like  one  that  in  no  ex¬ 
tremity  would  yield  to  fortune.  Nine  days  was  he  float¬ 
ing  about  with  all  the  motions  of  the  sea,  with  no  other 
support  than  the  slender  mast  under  him,  till  the  tenth 
night  cast  him,  all  spent  and  weary  with  toil,  upon  the 
friendly  shores  of  the  island  Ogygia. 

On  the  Island  of  Calypso. 


The  island  of  Calypso — Immortality  refused. 

Henceforth  the  adventures  of  the  single  Ulysses 
must  be  pursued.  Of  all  those  faithful  partakers  of  his 
toil,  who  with  him  left  Asia,  laden  with  the  spoils  of 
Troy,  now  not  one  remains,  but  all  a  prey  to  the  remorse¬ 
less  waves,  and  food  for  some  great  fish  ;  their  gallant 
navy  reduced  to  one  ship,  and  that  finally  swallowed  up 
and  lost.  Where  now  are  all  their  anxious  thoughts  of 
home?  that  perseverance  with  which  they  went  through 
the  severest  sufferings  and  the  hardest  labors  to  which 
poor  seafarers  were  ever  exposed,  that  their  toils  at  last 
might  be  crowned  with  the  sight  of  their  native  shores 
and  wives  at  Ithaca  ! — Ulysses  is  now  in  the  isle  Ogygia  ; 
called  the  Delightful  Island.  The  poor  shipwrecked 
chief,  the  slave  of  all  the  elements,  is  once  again  raised 
by  the  caprice  of  fortune  into  a  shadow  of  prosperity. 
He  that  was  cast  naked  upon  the  shore,  bereft  of  all  his 

companions,  has  now  a  goddess  to  attend  upon  him,  and 
6  (77) 



his  companions  are  the  nymphs  which  never  die. — Who- 
has  not  heard  of  Calypso  ?  her  grove  crowned  with  alders 
and  poplars  ?  her  grotto,  against  which  the  luxuriant 
vine  laid  forth  his  purple  grapes  ?  her  ever  new  delights, 
crystal  fountains,  running  brooks,  meadows  flowering 
with  sweet  balm-gentle  and  with  violet  :  blue  violets 
which  like  veins  enamelled  the  smooth  breasts  of  each 
fragrant  mead  !  It  were  useless  to  describe  over  again 
what  has  been  so  well  told  already  :  or  to  relate  those 
soft  arts  of  courtship  which  the  goddess  used  to  detain 
Ulysses  ;  the  same  in  kind  which  she  afterwards  practised 
upon  his  less  wary  son,  whom  Minerva,  in  the  shape  of 
Mentor,  hardly  preserved  from  her  snares,  when  they 
came  to  the  Delightful  Island  together  in  search  of  the 
scarce  departed  Ulysses. 

A  memorable  example  of  married  love,  and  a  worthy 
instance  how  dear  to  every  good  man  his  country  is, 
was  exhibited  by  Ulysses.  If  Circe  loved  him  sincerely, 
Calypso  loves  him  with  tenfold  more  warmth  and  passion  : 
she  can  deny  him  nothing  but  his  departure  ;  she  offers 
him  everything,  even  to  a  participation  of  her  immor¬ 
tality  ;  if  he  will  stay  and  share  in  her  pleasures  he  shall 
never  die.  But  death  with  glory  has  greater  charms  for 
a  mind  heroic  than  a  life  that  shall  never  die  with 
shame  ;  and  when  he  pledged  his  vows  to  his  Penelope, 
he  reserved  no  stipulation  that  he  would  forsake  her 
whenever  a  goddess  should  think  him  worthy  of  her 
bed,  but  they  had  sworn  to  live  and  grow  old  together  : 
and  he  would  not  survive  her  if  he  could,  nor  meanly 



share  in  immortality  itself,  from  which  she  was  ex¬ 



These  thoughts  kept  him  pensive  and  melancholy  in 
the  midst  of  pleasure.  His  heart  was  on  the  seas, 
making  voyages  to  Ithaca.  Twelve  months  had  worn 
away,  when  Minerva  from  heaven  saw  her  favorite,  how 
he  sat  still  pining  on  the  sea  shores  (his  daily  custom), 
wishing  for  a  ship  to  carry  him  home.  She  (who  is 
wisdom  herself)  was  indignant  that  so  wise  and  brave  a 
man  as  Ulysses  should  be  held  in  effeminate  bondage  by 
an  unworthy  goddess :  and  at  her  request,  her  father 
Jove  ordered  Mercury  to  go  down  to  the  earth  to  com¬ 
mand  Calypso  to  dismiss  her  guest.  The  divine  mes¬ 
senger  tied  fast  to  his  feet  his  winged  shoes,  which  bear 
him  over  land  and  seas,  and  took  in  his  hand  his  golden 
rod,  the  ensign  of  his  authority.  Then  wheeling  in 
many  an  airy  round,  he  stayed  not  till  he  alighted  on 
the  firm  top  of  the  mountain  Pieria  :  thence  he  fetched 
a  second  circuit  over  the  seas,  kissing  the  waves  in  his 
flight  with  his  feet,  as  light  as  any  sea-mew  fishing  dips 
her  wings,  till  he  touched  the  isle  Ogygia,  and  soared 
up  from  the  blue  sea  to  the  grotto  of  the  goddess,  to 
whom  his  errand  was  ordained. 

His  message  struck  a  horror,  checked  by  love,  through 
all  the  faculties  of  Calypso.  She  replied  to  it,  incensed  : 
“  You  gods  are  insatiate,  past  all  that  live,  in  all  things 
which  you  affect  ;  which  makes  you  so  envious  and 
grudging.  It  afflicts  you  to  the  heart,  when  any  god¬ 
dess  seeks  the  love  of  a  mortal  man  in  marriage,  though 


you  yourselves  without  scruple  link  yourselves  to  women 
of  the  earth.  So  it  fared  with  you,  when  the  delicious- 
fingered  Morning  shared  Orion’s  bed  ;  you  could  never 
satisfy  your  hate  and  your  jealousy  till  you  had  incensed 
the  chastity-loving  dame,  Diana,  who  leads  the  precise 
life ,  to  come  upon  him  by  stealth  in  Ortygia,  and  pierce 
him  through  with  her  arrows.  And  when  rich-haired 
Ceres  gave  the  reins  to  her  affections,  and  took  Iasion 
(well  worthy)  to  her  arms,  the  secret  was  not  so  cun¬ 
ningly  kept  but  Jove  had  soon  notice  of  it,  and  the  poor 
mortal  paid  for  his  felicity  with  death,  struck  through 
with  lightnings.  And  now  you  envy  me  the  possession 
of  a  wretched  nian,  whom  tempests  have  cast  upon  my 
shores,  making  him  lawfully  mine;  whose  ship  Jove 
rent  in  pieces  with  his  hot  thunderbolts,  killing  all  his 
friends.  Him  I  have  preserved,  loved,  nourished,  made 
him  mine  by  protection,  my  creature,  by  every  tie  of 
gratitude  mine  ;  have  vowed  to  make  him  deathless 
like  myself ;  him  you  will  take  from  me.  But  I  know 
your  power,  and  that  it  is  vain  for  me  to  resist.  Tell 
your  king  that  I  obey  his  mandates.” 

With  an  ill  grace  Calypso  promised  to  fulfil  the  com¬ 
mands  of  Jove  ;  and,  Mercury  departing,  she  went  to 
find  Ulysses,  where  he  sat  outside  the  grotto,  not  know¬ 
ing  of  the  heavenly  message,  drowned  in  discontent, 
not  seeing  any  human  probability  of  his  ever  return¬ 
ing  home. 

She  said  to  him:  “Unhappy  man,  no  longer  afflict 
yourself  with  pining  after  your  country,  but  build  you 





a  ship,  with  which  you  may  return  home  ;  since  it  is 
the  will  of  the  gods  :  who,  doubtless,  as  they  are  greater 
in  power  than  I,  are  greater  in  skill,  and  best  can  tell 
what  is  fittest  for  man.  But  I  call  the  gods  and  my 
inward  conscience  to  witness,  that  I  had  no  thought 
but  what  stood  with  thy  safety,  nor  would  have  done  or 
counselled  anything  against  thy  good.  I  persuaded 
thee  to  nothing  which  I  should  not  have  followed  my¬ 
self  in  thy  extremity :  for  my  mind  is  innocent  and 
simple.  O,  if  thou  knewest  what  dreadful  sufferings 
thou  must  yet  endure  before  ever  thou  readiest  thy 
native  land,  thou  wouldest  not  esteem  so  hardly  of  a 
goddess’  offer  to  share  her  immortality  with  thee  ;  nor, 
for  a  few  years’  enjoyment  of  a  perishing  Penelope, 
refuse  an  imperishable  and  never-dying  life  with  Ca¬ 
lypso.  ’  ’ 

He  replied:  “Ever-honored,  great  Calypso,  let  it 
not  displease  thee,  that  I,  a  mortal  man,  desire  to  see 
and  converse  again  with  a  wife  that  is  mortal ;  human 
objects  are  best  fitted  to  human  infirmities.  I  well 
know  how  far  in  wisdom,  in  feature,  in  stature,  propor¬ 
tion,  beauty,  in  all  the  gifts  of  the  mind,  thou  exceedest 
my  Penelope :  she  a  mortal,  and  subject  to  decay  ;  thou 
immortal,  ever  growing,  yet  never  old  ;  yet  in  her  sight 
all  my  desires  terminate,  all  my  wishes  ;  in  the  sight 
of  her,  and  of  my  country  earth.  If  any  god,  envious 
of  my  return,  shall  lay  his  dreadful  hand  upon  me  as  I 
pass  the  seas,  I  submit ;  for  the  same  powers  have  given 


the;  adventures  of  ulysses. 

me  a  mind  not  to  sink  under  oppression.  In  wars  and 
waves  my  sufferings  have  not  been  small.” 

She  heard  his  pleaded  reasons,  and  of  force  she  must 
assent  ;  so  to  her  nymphs  she  gave  in  charge  from  her 
sacred  woods  to  cut  down  timber,  to  make  Ulysses  a 
ship.  They  obeyed,  though  in  a  work  unsuitable  to 
their  soft  fingers,  yet  to  obedience  no  sacrifice  is  hard  : 
and  Ulysses  busily  bestirred  himself,  laboring  far  more 
hard  than  they,  as  was  fitting,  till  twenty  tall  trees, 
driest  and  fittest  for  timber,  were  felled.  Then  like  a 
skilful  shipwright  he  fell  to  joining  the  planks,  using 
the  plane,  the  axe,  and  the  auger,  with  such  expedition, 
that  in  four  days’  time  a  ship  was  made,  complete  with 
all  her  decks,  hatches,  side-boards,  yards.  Calypso- 
added  linen  for  the  sails,  and  tackling ;  and  when  she 
was  finished,  she  was  a  goodly  vessel  for  a  man  to  sail 
in  alone,  or  in  company,  over  the  wide  seas.  By  the 
fifth  morning  she  was  launched  ;  and  Ulysses,  furnished 
with  store  of  provisions,  rich  garments,  and  gold  and 
silver,  given  him  by  Calypso,  took  a  last  leave  of  her, 
and  of  her  nymphs,  and  of  the  isle  Ogygia  which  had 
so  befriended  him. 


Ulysses  Departs  from  Calypso  and  Embarks  for  Ithaca. 


The  tempest— The  sea-bird’s  gift — The  escape  by  swimming — The 

sleep  in  the  woods. 

At  the  stern  of  his  solitary  ship  Ulysses  sat  and 
steered  right  artfully.  No  sleep  could  seize  his  eyelids. 
He  beheld  the  Pleiads,  the  Bear  which  is  by  some  called 
the  Wain,  that  moves  round  abont  Orion,  and  keeps 
still  above  the  ocean,  and  the  slow-setting  sign  Bootes, 
which  some  name  the  Waggoner.  Seventeen  days  he 
held  his  course,  and  on  the  eighteenth  the  coast  of 
Phseacia  was  in  sight.  The  figure  of  the  land,  as  seen 
from  the  sea,  was  pretty  and  circular,  and  looked  some¬ 
thing  like  a  shield. 

Neptune  returning  from  visiting  his  favorite  Ethi¬ 
opians,  from  the  mountains  of  the  Solymi,  descried 
Ulysses  ploughing  the  waves,  his  domain.  The  sight 
of  the  man  he  so  much  hated  for  Polyphemus’  sake,  his 
son,  whose  eye  Ulysses  had  put  out,  set  the  god’s  heart 
on  fire,  and  snatching  into  his  hand  his  horrid  sea- 

sceptre,  the  trident  of  his  power,  he  smote  the  air  and 




the  sea,  and  conjured  up  all  his  black  storms,  calling 
down  night  from  the  cope  of  heaven  and  taking  the 
earth  into  the  sea,  as  it  seemed,  with  clouds,  through 
the  darkness  and  indistinctness  which  prevailed,  the 
billows  rolling  up  before  the  fury  of  all  the  winds  that 
contended  together  in  their  mighty  sport. 

Then  the  knees  of  Ulysses  bent  with  fear,  and  then 
all  his  spirit  was  spent,  and  he  wished  that  he  had  been 
among  the  number  of  his  countrymen  who  fell  before 
Troy,  and  had  their  funerals  celebrated  by  all  the 
Greeks,  rather  than  to  perish  thus,  where  no  man  could 
mourn  him  or  know  him. 

As  he  thought  these  melancholy  thoughts,  a  huge 
wave  took  him  and  washed  him  overboard,  ship  and  all 
upset  amidst  the  billows,  he  struggling  afar  off,  clinging 
to  her  stern  broken  off  which  he  yet  held,  her  mast 
cracking  in  two  with  the  fury  of  that  gust  of  mixed 
winds  that  struck  it,  sails  and  sail-yards  fell  into  the 
deep,  and  he  himself  was  long  drowned  under  water, 
nor  could  get  his  head  above,  wave  so  met  with  wave, 
as  if  they  strove  which  should  depress  him  most,  and 
the  gorgeous  garments  given  him  by  Calypso  clung 
about  him,  and  hindered  his  swimming  ;  yet  neither  for 
this,  nor  for  the  overthrow  of  his  ship,  nor  his  own 
perilous  condition,  would  he  give  up  his  drenched  ves¬ 
sel,  but,  wrestling  with  Neptune,  got  at  length  hold  of 
her  again,  and  then  sat  in  her  bulk,  insulting  over 
death,  which  he  had  escaped,  and  the  salt  waves  which 
he  gave  the  sea  again  to  give  to  other  men  :  his  ship, 


striving  to  live,  floated  at  random,  cuffed  from  wave  to 
wave,  hurled  to  and  fro  by  all  the  wind? ;  now  Boreas 
tossed  it  to  Notus,  Notus  passed  it  to  Burns,  and  Bums 
to  the  west  wind,  who  kept  up  the  horrid  tennis. 

Them  in  their  mad  sport  Iuo  Beucothea  beheld  ;  Ino 
Beueothea,  now  a  sea-goddess,  but  once  a  mortal  and 
the  daughter  of  Cadmus  ;  she  with  pity  beheld  Ulysses 
the  mark  of  their  fierce  contention,  and  rising  from  the 
waves  alighted  on  the  ship,  in  shape  like  to  the  sea-bird 
which  is  called  a  cormorant,  and  in  her  beak  she  held 
a  wonderful  girdle  made  of  sea-weeds  which  grow  at  the 
bottom  of  the  ocean,  which  she  dropped  at  his  feet,  and 
the  bird  spake  to  Ulysses  and  counselled  him  not  to 
trust  any  more  to  that  fatal  vessel  against  which  god 
Neptune  had  levelled  his  furious  wrath,  nor  to  those 
ill-befriending  garments  which  Calypso  had  given  him, 
but  to  quit  both  it  and  them,  and  trust  for  his  safety  to 
swimming.  “And  here,”  said  the  seeming  bird,  “take 
this  girdle  and  tie  about  your  middle,  which  has  virtue 
to  protect  the  wearer  at  sea,  and  you  shall  safely  reach 
the  shore  ;  but  when  you  have  landed  cast  it  far  from 
you  back  into  the  sea.”  He  did  as  the  sea-bird  in¬ 
structed  him,  he  stripped  himself  naked,  and  fastening 
the  wondrous  girdle  about  his  middle,  cast  himself 
into  the  seas  to  swim.  The  bird  dived  past  his  sight 
into  the  fathomless  abyss  of  the  ocean. 

Two  days  and  two  nights  he  spent  in  struggling 
with  the  waves,  though  sore  buffeted  and  almost  spent, 
never  giving  up  himself  for  lost,  such  confidence  he 



had  in  that  charm  which  he  wore  about  his  middle,, 
and  in  the  words  of  that  divine  bird.  But  the  third 
morning  the  winds  grew  calm,  and  all'  the  heavens 
were  clear.  Then  he  saw  himself  nigh  land,  which 
he  knew  to  be  the  coast  of  the  Phaeacians,  a  people 
good  to  strangers,  and  abounding  in  ships,  by  whose 
favor  he  doubted  not  that  he  should  soon  obtain  a 
passage  to  his  own  country.  And  such  joy  he  con¬ 
ceived  in  his  heart,  as  good  sons  have  that  esteem  their 
father’s  life  dear,  when  long  sickness  has  held  him 
down  to  his  bed,  and  wasted  his  body,  and  they  see 
at  length  health  return  to  the  old  man,  with  restored 
strength  and  spirits,  in  reward  of  their  many  prayers 
to  the  gods  for  his  safety  :  so  precious  was  the  pros¬ 
pect  of  home-return  to  Ulysses,  that  he  might  restore 
health  to  his  country  (his  better  parent),  that  had  long 
languished  as  full  of  distempers  in  his  absence.  And 
then  for  his  own  safety’s  sake  he  had  joy  to  see  the 
shores,  the  woods,  so  nigh  and  within  his  grasp  as 
they  seemed,  and  he  labored  with  all  the  might  of 
hands  and  feet  to  reach  with  swimming  that  nigh- 
seeming  land. 

But  when  he  approached  nearer,  a  horrid  sound  of  a 
huge  sea  beating  against  rocks  informed  him  that  here 
was  no  place  for  landing,  nor  any  harbor  for  man’s 
resort,  but  through  the  weeds  and  the  foam  which  the 
sea  belched  up  against  the  land  he  could  dimly  discover 
the  rugged  shore  all  bristled  with  flints,  and  all  that  part 
of  the  coast  one  impending  rock  that  seemed  impossible 

Ueucothea  Rescues  Ulysses. 




to  climb,  and  the  water  all  about  so  deep,  that  not  a 
sand  was  there  for  any  tired  foot  to  rest  upon,  and  every 
moment  he  feared  lest  some  wave  more  cruel  than  the 
rest  should  crush  him  against  a  cliff,  rendering  worse 
than  vain  all  his  landing :  and  should  he  swim  to  seek  a 
more  commodious  haven  farther  on,  he  was  fearful  lest, 
weak  and  spent  as  he  was,  the  winds  would  force  him 
back  a  long  way  off  into  the  main,  where  the  terrible  god 
Neptune,  for  wrath  that  he  had  so  nearly  escaped  his 
power,  having  gotten  him  again  into  his  domain,  would 
send  out  some  great  whale  (of  which  those  seas  breed  a 
horrid  number)  to  swallow  him  up  alive  ;  with  such 
malignity  he  still  pursued  him. 

While  these  thoughts  distracted  him  with  diversitv  of 
dangers,  one  bigger  wave  drove  against  a  sharp  rock  his 
naked  body,  which  it  gashed  and  tore,  and  wanted  little 
of  breaking-  all  his  bones,  so  rude  was  the  shock.  But 
in  this  extremity  she  prompted  him  that  never  failed 
him  at  need.  Minerva  (who  is  wisdom  itself)  put  it 
into  his  thoughts  no  longer  to  keep  swimming  off  and 
on,  as  one  dallying  with  danger,  but  boldly  to  force  the 
shore  that  threatened  him,  and  to  hug  the  rock  that  had 
torn  him  so  rudely  ;  which  with  both  hands  he  clasped, 
wrestling  with  extremity,  till  the  rage  of  that  billow 
which  had  driven  him  upon  it  was  past ;  but  then  again 
the  rock  drove  back  that  wave  so  furiously,  that  it  reft 
him  of  his  hold,  sucking  him  with  it  in  his  return,  and 
the  sharp  rock  (his  cruel  friend)  to  which  he  dinged  for 
succor,  rent  the  flesh  so  sore  from  his  hands  in  parting, 



that  he  fell  off,  and  could  sustain  no  longer :  quite 
under  water  he  fell,  and  past  the  help  of  fate,  there  had 
the  hapless  Ulysses  lost  all  portion  that  he  had  in 
this  life,  if  Minerva  had  not  prompted  his  wisdom  in 
that  peril  to  essay  another  course,  and  to  explore  some 
other  shelter,  ceasing  to  attempt  that  landing-place. 

She  guided  his  wearied  and  nigh-exhausted  limbs  to 
the  mouth  of  the  fair  river  Calliro,  which  not  far  from 
thence  disbursed  its  watery  tribute  to  the  ocean.  Here 
the  shores  were  easy  and  accessible,  and  the  rocks,  which 
rather  adorned  than  defended  its  banks,  so  smooth,  that 
they  seemed  polished  of  purpose  to  invite  the  landing  of 
our  sea- wanderer,  and  to  atone  for  the  uncourteous  treat¬ 
ment  which  those  less  hospitable  cliffs  had  afforded  him. 
And  the  god  of  the  river,  as  if  in  pity,  stayed  his  cur¬ 
rent  and  smoothed  his  waters,  to  make  his  landing  more 
easy  ;  for  sacred  to  the  ever-living  deities  of  the  fresh 
waters,  be  they  mountain-stream,  river  or  lake,  is  the 
cry  of  erring  mortals  that  seek  their  aid,  by  reason  that 
being  inland-bred  they  partake  more  of  the  gentle 
humanities  of  our  nature  than  those  marine  deities, 
whom  Neptune  trains  up  in  tempests  in  the  unpitying 
recesses  of  his  salt  abyss. 

So  by  the  favor  of  the  river’s  god  Ulysses  crept  to 
land  half-drowned  ;  both  his  knees  faltering,  his  strong 
hands  falling  down  through  weakness  from  the  excessive 
toils  he  had  endured,  his  cheek  and  nostrils  flowing  with 
froth  of  the  sea-brine,  much  of  which  he  had  swallowed 
in  that  conflict,  voice  and  breath  spent,  down  he  sank  as 



in  death.  Dead  weary  he  was.  It  seemed  that  the  sea 
had  soaked  through  his  heart,  and  the  pains  he  felt  in 
all  his  veins  were  little  less  than  those  which  one  feels 
that  has  endured  the  torture  of  the  rack.  But  when  his 
spirits  came  a  little  to  themselves,  and  his  recollection 
by  degrees  began  to  return,  he  rose  up,  and  unloosing 
from  his  waist  the  girdle  or  charm  which  that  divine 
bird  had  given  him,  and  remembering  the  charge  which 
he  had  received  with  it,  he  flung  it  far  from  him  into  the 
river.  Back  it  swam  with  the  course  of  the  ebbing 
stream  till  it  reached  the  sea,  where  the  fair  hands  of 
Ino  Deucothea  received  it  to  keep  it  as  a  pledge  of  safety 
to  any  future  shipwrecked  mariner  that  like  Ulysses 
should  wander  in  those  perilous  waves. 

Then  he  kissed  the  humble  earth  in  token  of  safety, 

and  on  he  went  by  the  side  of  that  pleasant  river  till  he 

came  where  a  thicker  shade  of  rushes  that  grew  on  its 

banks  seemed  to  point  out  the  place  where  he  might 

rest  his  sea-wearied  limbs.  And  here  a  fresh  perplexity 

divided  his  mind,  whether  he  should  pass  the  night, 

which  was  coming  on,  in  that  place,  where,  though  he 

feared  no  other  enemies,  the  damps  and  frosts  of  the 

chill  sea-air  in  that  exposed  situation  might  be  death  to 

him  in  his  weak  state  ;  or  whether  he  had  better  climb 

the  next  hill,  and  pierce  the  depth  of  some  shady  wood, 

in  which  he  might  find  a  warm  and  sheltered  though 

insecure  repose,  subject  to  the  approach  of  any  wild 

beast  that  roamed  that  way.  Best  did  this  last  course 

appear  to  him,  though  with  some  danger,  as  that  which 



was  more  honorable  and  savored  more  of  strife  and  self¬ 
exertion,  than  to  perish  without  a  struggle  the  passive 
victim  of  cold  and  the  elements. 

So  he  bent  his  course  to  the  nearest  woods,  where, 
entering  in,  he  found  a  thicket,  mostly  of  wild  olives 
and  such  low  trees,  yet  growing  so  intertwined  and  knit 
together  that  the  moist  wind  had  not  leave  to  play 
through  their  branches,  nor  the  sun’s  scorching  beams 
to  pierce  their  recesses,  nor  any  shower  to  beat  through, 
they  grew  so  thick  and  as  it  were  folded  each  in  the 
other  ;  here  creeping  in  he  made  his  bed  of  the  leaves 
which  were  beginning  to  fall,  of  which  was  such 
abundance  that  two  or  three  men  might  have  spread 
them  ample  coverings,  such  as  might  shield  them  from 
the  winter’s  rage,  though  the  air  breathed  steel  and 
blew  as  it  would  burst.  Here  creeping  in,  he  heaped 
up  store  of  leaves  all  about  him,  as  a  man  would  billets 
upon  a  winter  fire,  and  lay  down  in  the  midst.  Rich 
seed  of  virtue  lying  hid  in  poor  leaves  !  Here  Minerva 
soon  gave  him  sound  sleep  ;  and  here  all  his  long  toils 
past  seemed  to  be  concluded  and  shut  up  within  the 
little  sphere  of  his  refreshed  and  closed  eyelids. 

The  Princess  Nausicaa  and  Ulysses. 


The  Princess  Nausicaa — The  washing — The  game  with  the  ball — 
The  Court  of  Phasacia  and  king  Alcinous. 

Meantime  Minerva,  designing  an  interview  between 
the  king’s  daughter  of  that  country  and  Ulysses  when 
he  should  awake,  went  by  night  to  the  palace  of  king 
Alcinous,  and  stood  at  the  bedside  of  the  princess 
Nausicaa  in  the  shape  of  one  of  her  favorite  attendants, 
and  thus  addressed  the  sleeping  princess. 

“  Nausicaa,  why  do  you  lie  sleeping  here,  and  never 
bestow  a  thought  upon  your  bridal  ornaments,  of  which 
you  have  many  and  beautiful,  laid  up  in  your  wrardrobe 
against  the  day  of  your  marriage,  which  cannot  be  far 
distant  ;  when  you  shall  have  need  of  all,  not  only  to 
deck  your  own  person,  but  to  give  away  in  presents 
to  the  virgins  that  honoring  you  shall  attend  you  to 
the  temple  ?  Your  reputation  stands  much  upon  the 
timely  care  of  these  things ;  these  things  are  they 
which  fill  father  and  reverend  mother  with  del  ight. 

Let  us  arise  betimes  to  wash  your  fair  vestments  of 




linen  and  silks  in  the  river  ;  and  request  your  sire  to 
lend  you  mules  and  a  coach,  for  your  wardrobe  is 
heavy,  and  the  place  where  we  must  wash  is  distant, 
and  besides  it  fits  not  a  great  princess  like  yon  to  go 
so  far  on  foot.  ’  ’ 

So  saying  she  went  away,  and  Nausicaa  awoke,  full 
of  pleasing  thoughts  of  her  marriage,  which  the  dream 
had  told  her  was  not  far  distant  :  and  as  soon  as  it  was 
dawn,  she  arose  and  dressed  herself  and  went  to  find  her 
parents . 

The  queen  her  mother  was  already  up,  and  seated 
among  her  maids,  spinning  at  her  wheel,  as  the  fashion 
was  in  those  primitive  times,  when  great  ladies  did  not 
disdain  housewifery  ;  and  the  king  her  father  was  pre¬ 
paring  to  go  abroad  at  that  early  hour  to  council  with 
his  grave  senate. 

“My  father,”  she  said,  “will  you  not  order  mules  and 
a  coach  to  be  got  ready,  that  I  may  go  and  wash,  I  and 
my  maids,  at  the  cisterns  that  stand  without  the  city?” 

“What  washing  does  my  daughter  speak  of?”  said 

“Mine  and  my  brothers’  garments,”  she  replied, 
“that  have  contracted  soil  by  this  time  with  lying  by 
so  long  in  the  wardrobe.  Five  sons  have  you,  that  are 
my  brothers  ;  two  of  them  are  married,  and  three  are 
bachelors  ;  these  last  it  concerns  to  have  their  garments 
neat  and  unsoiled  ;  it  may  advance  their  fortunes  in 
marriage  :  and  who  but  I  their  sister  should  have  a 
care  of  these  things  ?  You  yourself,  my  father,  have 



need  of  the  whitest  apparel,  when  you  go,  as  now,  to 
the  council.” 

She  used  this  plea,  modestly  dissembling  her  care  of 
her  own  nuptials  to  her  father  ;  who  was  not  displeased 
at  this  instance  of  his  daughter’s  discretion  :  for  a  sea¬ 
sonable  care  about  marriage  may  be  permitted  to  a 
young  maiden,  provided  it  to  be  accompanied  with 
modesty  and  dutiful  submission  to  her  parents  in  the 
choice  of  her  future  husband  :  and  there  was  no  fear  of 
Nausicaa  choosing  wrongly  or  improperly,  for  she  was 
as  wise  as  she  was  beautiful,  and  the  best  in  all  Phseacia 
were  suitors  to  her  for  her  love.  So  Alcinous  readily 
gave  consent  that  she  should  go,  ordering  mules  and  a 
coach  to  be  prepared.  And  Nausicaa  brought  from  her 
chamber  all  her  vestments,  and  laid  them  up  in  the 
coach,  and  her  mother  placed  bread  and  wine  in  the 
coach,  and  oil  in  a  golden  cruse,  to  soften  the  bright 
skins  of  Nausicaa  and  her  maids  when  they  came  out 
of  the  river. 

Nausicaa  making  her  maids  get  up  into  the  coach 
with  her,  lashed  the  mules,  till  they  brought  her  to 
the  cisterns  which  stood  a  little  on  the  outside  of  the 
town,  and  were  supplied  with  water  from  the  river 
Cal  li  roe. 

There  her  attendants  unyoked  the  mules,  took  out 
the  clothes,  and  steeped  them  in  the  cisterns,  washing 
them  in  several  waters,  and  afterwards  treading  them 
clean  with  their  feet,  venturing  wagers  who  should  have 
done  soonest  and  cleanest,  and  using  many  pretty  pas- 



times  to  beguile  their  labor  as  young  maids  use,  while 
the  princess  looked  on.  When  they  had  laid  their 
clothes  to  dry,  they  fell  to  playing  again,  and  Nausicaa 
joined  them  in  a  game  with  the  ball,  which  is  used 
in  that  country,  which  is  performed  by  tossing  the 
ball  from  hand  to  hand  with  great  expedition,  she  who 
begins  the  pastime  singing  a  song.  It  chanced  that 
the  princess,  whose  turn  it  became  to  toss  the  ball, 
sent  it  so  far  from  its  mark,  that  it  fell  beyond  into  one 
of  the  cisterns  of  the  river  :  at  which  the  whole  com¬ 
pany,  in  merry  consternation,  set  up  a  shriek  so  loud 
as  waked  the  sleeping  Ulysses,  who  was  taking  his  rest, 
after  his  long  toils,  in  the  woods  not  far  distant  from 
the  place  where  these  young  maids  had  come  to  wash. 

At  the  sound  of  female  voices  Ulysses  crept  forth 
from  his  retirement,  making  himself  a  covering  with 
boughs  and  leaves  as  well  as  he  could  to  shroud  his 
nakedness.  The  sudden  appearance  of  his  weather¬ 
beaten  and  almost  naked  form  so  frightened  the  maidens 
that  they  scudded  away  into  the  woods  and  all  about  to 
hide  themselves,  only  Minerva  (who  had  brought  about 
this  interview  to  admirable  purposes,  by  seemingly  acci¬ 
dental  means)  put  courage  into  the  breast  of  Nansicaa, 
and  she  stayed  where  she  was,  and  resolved  to  know 
what  manner  of  man  he  was,  and  what  was  the  occasion 
of  his  strange  coming  to  them. 

He  not  venturing  (for  delicacy)  to  approach  and  clasp 
her  knees,  as  suppliants  should,  but  standing  far  off, 
addressed  this  speech  to  the  young  princess. 


The  Princess  Nausicaa  and  Ulysses. 






“Before  I  presume  rudely  to  press  my  petitions,  I 
should  first  ask  whether  I  am  addressing  a  mortal  woman, 


or  one  of  the  goddesses.  If  a  goddess,  you  seem  to  me 
to  be  likest  to  Diana,  the  chaste  huntress,  the  daughter 
of  Jove.  Like  hers  are  your  lineaments,  your  stature, 
your  features,  and  air  divine.” 

She  making  answer  that  she  was  no  goddess,  but  a 
mortal  maid,  he  continued  : 

“  If  a  woman,  thrice  blessed  are  both  the  authors  of 
your  birth,  thrice  blessed  are  your  brothers,  who  even  to 
rapture  must  have  joy  in  your  perfections, .  to  see  you 
grow  so  like  a  young  tree,  and  so  graceful.  But  most 
blessed  of  all  that  breathe  is  he  that  has  the  gift  to 
engage  your  young  neck  in  the  yoke  of  marriage.  I 
never  saw  that  man  that  was  worthy  of  you.  I  never 
saw  man  or  woman  that  at  all  parts  equalled  you. 
Lately  at  Delos  (where  I  touched)  I  saw  a  young 
palm  which  grew  beside  Apollo’s  temple  ;  it  exceeded 
all  the  trees  which  ever  I  beheld  for  straightness  and 
beauty  :  I  can  compare  you  only  to  that.  A  stupor 
past  admiration  strikes  me,  joined  with  fear,  which 
keeps  me  back  from  approaching  you,  to  embrace  your 
knees.  Nor  is  it  strange  ;  for  one  of  freshest  and 
firmest  spirit  would  falter,  approaching  near  to  so 
bright  an  object  :  but  I  am  one  whom  a  cruel  habit  of 
calamity  has  prepared  to  receive  strong  impressions. 
Twenty  days  the  unrelenting  seas  have  tossed  me  up 
and  down  coming  from  Ogygia,  and  at  length  cast  me 
shipwrecked  last  night  upon  your  coast.  I  have  seen  no 



man  or  woman  since  I  landed  but  yourself.  All  that  I 
crave  is  clothes,  which  you  may  spare  me,  and  to  be 
shown  the  way  to  some  neighboring  town.  The  gods 
who  have  care  of  strangers,  will  requite  you  for  these 

She,  admiring  to  hear  such  complimentary  words 
proceed  out  of  the  mouth  of  one  whose  outside  looked 
so  rough  and  unpromising,  made  answer  :  “Stranger, 
I  discern  neither  sloth  nor  folly  in  you,  and  yet  I  see 
that  you  are  poor  and  wretched  ;  from  which  I  gather 
that  neither  wisdom  nor  industry  can  secure  felicity  ; 
only  Jove  bestows  it  upon  whomsoever  he  pleases.  He 
perhaps  has  reduced  you  to  this  plight.  However, 
since  your  wanderings  have  brought  you  so  near  to  our 
city,  it  lies  in  our  duty  to  supply  your  wants.  Clothes 
and  what  else  a  human  hand  should  give  to  one 
so  suppliant,  and  so  tamed  with  calamity,  you  shall  not 
want.  We  will  show  you  our  city  and  tell  you  the  name 
of  our  people.  This  is  the  land  of  the  Phaeaciaus,  of 
which  my  father  Alcinous  is  king.” 

Then  calling  her  attendants,  who  had  dispersed  on  the 
first  sight  of  Ulysses,  she  rebuked  them  for  their  fear, 
and  said  :  “  This  man  is  no  Cyclop,  nor  monster  of  sea 
or  land,  that  you  should  fear  him  ;  but  he  seems  manly, 
staid,  and  discreet,  and  though  decayed  in  his  outward 
appearance,  yet  he  has  the  mind’s  riches — wit  and 
fortitude,  in  abundance.  Show  him  the  cisterns  where 
he  may  wash  him  from  the  sea-weeds  and  foam  that 
hang  about  him,  and  let  him  have  garments  that  fit 



him  out  of  those  which  we  have  brought  with  us  to  the 
cisterns.  ’  ’ 

Ulysses,  retiring  a  little  out  of  sight,  cleansed  him  in 
the  cisterns  from  the  soil  and  impurities  with  which  the 
rocks  and  waves  had  covered  all  his  body,  and  clothing 
himself  with  befitting  raiment,  which  the  princess’ 
attendants  had  given  him,  he  presented  himself  in  more 
worthy  shape  to  Nausicaa.  She  admired  to  see  what  a 
comely  personage  he  was,  now  he  was  dressed  in  all  parts 
she  thought  him  some  king  or  hero  :  and  secretly  wished 
that  the  gods  would  be  pleased  to  give  her  such  a  husband. 

Then  causing  her  attendants  to  yoke  her  mules,  and 
lay  up  the  vestments,  which  the  sun’s  heat  had 
sufficiently  dried,  in  the  coach,  she  ascended  with  her 
maids,  and  drove  off  to  the  palace  ;  bidding  Ulysses,  as 
she  departed,  keep  an  eye  upon  the  coach,  and  to  follow 
it  on  foot  at  some  distance  :  which  she  did,  because  if 
she  had  suffered  him  to  have  rode  in  the  coach  with  her, 
it  riright  have  subjected  her  to  some  misconstruction  of 
the  common  people,  who  are  always  ready  to  vilify  and 
censure  their  betters,  and  to  suspect  that  charity  is  not 
always  pure  charity,  but  that  love  or  some  sinister  inten¬ 
tion  lies  hid  under  its  disguise.  So  discreet  and  atten¬ 
tive  to  appearance  in  all  her  actions  was  this  admirable 

Ulysses,  as  he  entered  the  city,  wondered  to  see  its 
magnificence,  its  markets,  buildings,  temples  ;  its  walls 
and  rampires  ;  its  trade  and  resort  of  men  ;  its  harbors 
for  shipping,  which  is  the  strength  of  the  Phseacian 



state.  But  when  he  approached  the  palace,  and  beheld 
its  riches,  the  proportion  of  its  architecture,  its 
avenues,  gardens,  statues,  fountains,  he  stood  rapt  in 
admiration,  and  almost  forgot  his  own  condition  in  sur¬ 
veying  the  flourishing  estate  of  others  :  but  recollecting 
himself,  he  passed  on  boldly  into  the  inner  apartment, 
where  the  king  and  queen  were  sitting  at  dinner  with  their 
peers  ;  Nausicaa  having  prepared  them  for  his  approach. 

To  them,  humbly  kneeling,  he  made  it  his  request, 
that  since  fortune  had  cast  him  naked  upon  their  shores, 
they  would  take  him  into  their  protection,  and  grant 
him  a  conveyance  by  one  of  the  ships,  of  which  their 
great  Phseacian  state  had  such  good  store,  to  carry  him  to 
his  own  country.  Having  delivered  his  request,  to  grace 
it  with  more  humility,  he  went  and  sat  himself  down 
upon  the  hearth  among  the  ashes,  as  the  custom  was  in 
those  days  when  any  would  make  a  petition  to  the  throne. 

He  seemed  a  petitioner  of  so  great  state  and  of  so 
superior  a  deportment,  that  Alcinous  himself  arose  to  do 
him  honor,  and  causing  him  to  leave  that  abject  station 
which  he  had  assumed,  placed  him  next  to  his  throne, 
upon  a  chair  of  state,  and  thus  he  spake  to  his  peers  : 

“  Lords  and  counsellors  of  Phseacia,  ye  see  this  man, 
who  he  is  we  know  not,  that  is  come  to  us  in  the  guise 
of  a  petitioner  :  he  seems  no  mean  one  ;  but  whoever 
he  is,  it  is  fit,  since  the  gods  have  cast  him  upon  our 
protection,  that  we  grant  him  the  rites  of  hospitality 
while  he  stays  with  us,  and  at  his  departure  a  ship 
well-manned  to  convey  so  worthy  a  personage  as  he 



seems  to  be  in  a  manner  suitable  to  bis  rank,  to  bis  own 

This  counsel  the  peers  with  one  consent  approved  ; 
and  wine  and  meat  being  set  before  Ulysses,  he  ate  and 
drank,  and  gave  the  gods  thanks  who  had  stirred  up  the 
royal  bounty  of  Alcinous  to  aid  him  in  that  extremity. 
But  not  as  yet  did  he  reveal  to  the  king  and  queen  who 
he  was,  or  whence  he  had  come  ;  only  in  brief  terms 
he  related  his  being  cast  upon  their  shores,  his  sleep  in 
the  woods,  and  his  meeting  with  the  princess  Nansicaa  : 
whose  generosity,  mingled  with  discretion, .  filled  her 
parents  with  delight,  as  Ulysses  in  eloquent  phrases 
adorned  and  commended  her  virtues.  But  Alcinous, 
humanely  considering  that  the  troubles  which  his  guest 
had  undergone  required  rest,  as  well  as  refreshment  by 
food,  dismissed  him  early  in  the  evening  to  his  chamber  ; 
where  in  a  magnificent  apartment  Ulysses  found  a 
smoother  bed,  but  not  a  sounder  repose,  than  he  had 
enjoyed  the  night  before,  sleeping  upon  leaves  which  he 
had  scraped  together  in  his  necessity. 


The  Song  of  Demodocus. 


The  songs  of  Demodocus — The  convoy  home — The  mariners  trans¬ 
formed  to  stone — The  young  shepherd. 

When  it  was  day-light,  Alcinous  caused  it  to  be  pro¬ 
claimed  by  the  heralds  about  the  town  that  there  was 
come  to  the  palace  a  stranger,  shipwrecked  on  their  coast, 
that  in  mien  and  person  resembled  a  god  ;  and  inviting 
all  the  chief  people  of  the  city  to  come  and  do  honor  to 
the  stranger. 

The  palace  was  quickly  filled  with  guests,  old  and 
young,  for  whose  cheer,  and  to  grace  Ulysses  more, 
Alcinous  made  a  kingly  feast,  with  banquetings  and 
music.  Then  Ulysses  being,  seated  at  a  table  next  the 
king  and  queen,  in  all  men’s  view  ;  after  they  had 
feasted,  Alcinous  ordered  Demodocus,  the  court-singer, 
to  be  called  to  sing  some  song  of  the  deeds  of  heroes,  to 
charm  the  ear  of  his  guest.  Demodocus  came  and 
reached  his  harp,  where  it  hung  between  two  pillars  of 
silver  ;  and  then  the  blind  singer,  to  whom,  in  recom¬ 
pense  of  his  lost  sight,  the  muses  had  given  an  inward 



discernment,  a  soul  and  a  voice  to  excite  the  hearts  of 
men  and  gods  to  delight,  began  in  grave  and  solemn 
strains  to  sing  the  glories  of  men  highliest  famed.  He 
chose  a  poem,  whose  subject  was  the  stern  strife  stirred 
up  between  Ulysses  and  great  Achilles,  as  at  a  banquet 
sacred  to  the  gods  in  dreadful  language  they  expressed 
their  difference  ;  while  Agamemnon  sat  rejoiced  in 
soul  to  hear  those  Grecians  jar :  for  the  oracle  in 
Pytho  had  told  him  that  the  period  of  their  wars  in 
Troy  shoiild  then  be,  when  the  kings  of  Greece, 
anxious  to  arrive  at  the  wished  conclusion,  should  fall 
to  strife,  and  contend  which  must  end  the  war,  force  or 

This  brave  contention  he  expressed  so  to  the  life,  in 
the  very  words  which  they  both  used  in  the  quarrel,  as 
brought  tears  into  the  eyes  of  Ulysses  at  the  remem¬ 
brance  of  past  passages  of  his  life,  and  he  held  his  large 
purple  weed  before  his  face  to  conceal  it.  Then  craving 
a  cup  of  wine,  he  poured  it  out  in  secret  libation  to  the 
gods,  who  had  put  into  the  mind  of  Demodocus  un¬ 
knowingly  to  do  him  so  much  honor.  But  when  the 
moving  poet  began  to  tell  of  other  occurrences  where 
Ulysses  had  been  present,  the  memory  of  his  brave 
followers  who  had  been  with  him  in  all  difficulties, 
now  swallowed  up  and  lost  in  the  ocean,  and  of  those 
kings  that  had  fought  with  him  at  Troy,  some  of  whom 
were  dead,  some  exiles  like  himself,  forced  itself  so 
strongly  upon  his  mind,  that  forgetful  where  he  was, 
he  sobbed  outright  with  passion  ;  which  yet  he  re- 



strained,  but  not  so  cunningly  but  Alcinous  perceived 
it,  and  without  taking  notice  of  it  to  Ulysses,  privately 
gave  signs  that  Demodocus  should  cease  from  his 

o  O 

Next  followed  dancing  in  the  Phseacian  fashion, 
when  they  would  show  respect  to  their  guests  ;  which 
was  succeeded  by  trials  of  skill,  games  of  strength, 
running,  racing,  hurling  of  the  quoit,  mock  fights, 
hurling  of  the  javelin,  shooting  with  the  bow  ;„in  some 
of  which  Ulysses  modestly  challenging  his  entertainers, 
performed  such  feats  of  strength  and  prowess  as  gave 
the  admiring  Phseacians  fresh  reason  to  imagine  that 
he  was  either  some  god  or  hero  of  the  race  of  the  gods. 

These  solemn  shows  and  pageants  in  honor  of  his 
guest,  king  Alcinous  continued  for  the  space  of  many 
days,  as  if  he  could  never  be  weary  of  showing  courte¬ 
sies  to  so  worthy  a  stranger.  In  all  this  time  he  never 
asked  him  his  name,  nor  sought  to  know  more  of  him 
than  he  of  his  own  accord  disclosed  :  till  on  a  day  as 
they  were  seated  feasting,  after  the  feast  was  ended, 
Demodocus  being  called,  as  was  the  custom,  to  sing 
some  grave  matter,  sang  how  Ulysses,  on  that  night 
when  Troy  was  fired,  made  dreadful  proof  of  his  valor, 
maintaining  singly  a  combat  against  the  whole  house¬ 
hold  of  Deiphobus,  to  which  the  divine  expresser  gave 
both  act  and  passion,  and  breathed  such  a  fire  into 
Ulysses’  deeds,  that  it  inspired  old  death  with  life  in 
the  lively  expressing  of  slaughters,  and  rendered  life  so 
sweet  and  passionate  in  the  hearers,  that  all  who  heard 



felt  it  fleet  from  them  in  the  narration  :  which  made 
Ulysses  even  pity  his  own  slaughterous  deeds,  and  feel 
touches  of  remorse,  to  see  how  song  can  revive  a  dead 
man  from  the  grave,  yet  no  way  can  it  defend  a  living 
man  from  death  :  and  in  imagination  he  underwent 
some  part  of  death’s  horrors,  and  felt  in  his  living- 
body  a.  taste  of  those  dying  pangs  which  he  had  dealt 
to  others  ;  that  with  the  strong  conceit,  tears  (the 
true  interpreters  of  unutterable  emotion)  stood  in  his 

Which,  king  Alcinous  noting,  and  that  this  .was  now 
the  second  time  that  he  had  perceived  him  to  be  moved 
at  the  mention  of  events  touching  the  Trojan  wars,'  he 
took  occasion  to  ask  whether  his  guest  had  lost  any 
friend  or  kinsman  at  Trov,  that  Demodocus’  singling- 
had  brought  into  his  mind.  Then  Ulysses,  drying  the 
tears  with  his  cloak,  and  observing  that  the  eyes  of  all 
the  company  were  upon  him,  desirous  to  give  them 
satisfaction  in  what  he  could,  and  thinking  this  a  fit 
time  to  reveal  his  true  name  and  destination,  spake  as 
follows  : 

“  The  courtesies  which  ye  all  have  shown  me,  and  in 
particular  yourself  and  princely  daughter,  O  king  Al¬ 
cinous,  demand  from  me  that  I  should  no  longer  keep 
you  in  ignorance  of  what  or  who  I  am  ;  for  to.  reserve 
any  secret  from  you,  who  have  with  such  openness  of 
friendship  embraced  my  love,  would  argue  either  a 
pusillanimous  or  an  ungrateful  mind  in  me.  Know 

then  that  I  am  that  Ulysses ,  of  whom  I  perceive  ye  have 



heard  something  ;  who  heretofore  have  filled  the  world 
with  the  renown  of  my  policies.  I  am  he  by  whose 
counsels,  if  Fame  is  to  be  believed  at  all,  more  than  by 
the  united  valor  of  all  the  Grecians,  Troy  fell.  I  am 
that  unhappy  man  whom  the  heavens  and  angry  gods 
have  conspired  to  keep  an  exile  on  the  seas,  wandering 
to  seek  my  home  which  still  flies  from  me.  The  land 
which  I  am  in  quest  of  is  Ithaca  ;  in  whose  ports  some 
ship  belonging  to  your  navigation-famed  Phseacian  state 
may  haply  at  some  time  have  found  a  refuge  from  tem¬ 
pests.  If  ever  you  have  experienced  such  kindness, 
requite  it  now,  by  granting  to  me,  who  am  the  king  of 
that  land,  a  passport  to  that  land.” 

Admiration  seized  all  the  court  of  Alcinous  to  behold 
in  their  presence  one  of  the  number  of  those  heroes  who 
fought  at  Troy,  whose  divine  story  had  been  made 
known  to  them  by  songs  and  poems,  but  of  the  truth 
they  had  little  known,  or  rather  they  had  hitherto 
accounted  those  heroic  exploits  as  fictions  and  exaggera¬ 
tions  of  poets  ;  but  having  seen  and  made  proof  of  the 
real  Ulysses,  they  began  to  take  those  supposed  inven¬ 
tions  to  be  real  verities,  and  the  tale  of  Troy  to  be  as 
true  as  it  was  delightful. 

Then  king  Alcinous  made  answer :  “Thrice  fortunate 
ought  we  to  esteem  our  lot,  in  having  seen  and  con¬ 
versed  with  a  man  of  whom  report  hath  spoken  so 
loudly,  but,  as  it  seems,  nothing  beyond  the  truth. 
Though  we  could  desire  no  felicity  greater  than  to  have 
you  always  among  us,  renowned  Ulysses,  yet  your 



desire  having  been  expressed  so  often  and  so  deeply  to 
return  home,  we  can  deny  you  nothing,  though  to  our 
own  loss.  Our  kingdom  of  Phaeacia,  as  you  know,  is 
chiefly  rich  in  shipping.  In  all  parts  of  the  world, 
where  there  are  navigable  seas,  or  ships  can  pass,  our 
vessels  will  be  found.  You  cannot  name  a  coast  to 
which  they  do  not  resort.  Every  rock  and  deep  quick¬ 
sand  is  known  to  them  that  lurks  in  the  vast  deep. 
They  pass  a  bird  in  flight  ;  and  with  such  unerring 
certainty  they  make  to  their  destination,  that  some  have 
said  they  have  no  need  of  pilot  or  rudder,  but  -that  they 
move  instinctively,  self-directed,  and  know  the  minds 
of  their  voyagers.  Thus  much,  that  you  may  not  fear 
to  trust  yourself  in  one  of  our  Phseaciau  ships.  To¬ 
morrow  if  you  please  you  shall  launch  forth.  To-day 
spend  with  us  in  feasting  :  who  never  can  do  enough 
when  the  gods  send  such  visitors.” 

Ulysses  acknowledged  king  Alcinous’  bounty  ;  and 
while  these  two  royal  personages  stood  interchanging 
courteous  expressions,  the  heart  of  the  princess  Nausicaa 
was  overcome  ;  she  had  been  gazing  attentively  upon 
her  father’s  guest  as  he  delivered  his  speech,  but  when 
he  came  to  that  part  where  he  declared  himself  to  be 
Ulysses,  she  blessed  herself  and  her  fortune  that  in 
relieving  a  poor  shipwrecked  mariner,  as  he  seemed  no 
better,  she  had  conferred  a  kindness  on  so  divine  a  hero 
as  he  proved  :  and  scarce  waiting  till  her  father  had 
done  speaking,  with  a  cheerful  countenance  she  ad¬ 
dressed  Ulysses,  bidding  him  be  cheerful,  and  when  he 



returned  home,  as  by  her  father’s  means  she  trusted  lie 
would  shortly,  sometimes  to  remember  to  whom  he 
owed  his  life,  and  who  met  him  by  the  river  Calliroe. 

“Fair  flower  of  Phseacia,”  he  replied,  “so  may  all 
the  gods  bless  me  with  the  strife  of  joys  in  that  desired 
day,  whenever  I  shall  see  it,  as  I  shall  always  acknowl¬ 
edge  to  be  indebted  to  your  fair  hand  for  the  gift  of  life 
which  I  enjoy,  and  all  the  blessings  which  shall  follow 
upon  my  home  return.  The  gods  give  thee,  Nausicaa, 
a  princely  husband  ;  and  from  you  two  spring  blessings 
to  this  state.”  So  prayed  Ulysses,  his  heart  overflowing 
with  admiration  and  grateful  recollections. 

Then  at  the  king’s  request  he  gave  them  a  brief  rela¬ 
tion  of  all  the  adventures  that  had  befallen  him  since 
he  launched  forth  from  Troy,  during  which  the  princess 
Nausicaa  took  great  delight  (as  ladies  are  commonly 
taken  with  these  kind  of  traveller’s  stories)  to  hear  of 
the  monster  Polyphemus,  of  the  men  that  devour  each 
other  in  Usestrygonia,  of  the  enchantress  Circe,  of 
Scylla,  and  the  rest ;  to  which  she  listened  with  a 
breathless  attention,  letting  fall  a  shower  of  tears  from 
her  fair  eyes  every  now  and  then,  when  Ulysses  told  of 
some  more  than  usual  distressful  passage  in  his  travels  : 
and  all  the  rest  of  his  auditors,  if  they  had  before  enter¬ 
tained  a  high  respect  for  their  guest,  now  felt  their 
veneration  increased  tenfold,  when  they  learnt  from  his 
own  mouth  what  perils,  what  sufferings,  what  endur¬ 
ance,  of  evils  beyond  man’s  strength  to  support,  this 
much-sustaining,  almost  heavenly  man,  by  the  greatness- 



of  his  mind,  and  by  his  invincible  courage,  had  strug- 
*  gled  through. 

The  night  was  far  spent  before  Ulysses  had  ended  his 
narrative,  and  with  wishful  glances  he  cast  his  eyes 
towards  the  eastern  parts,  which  the  sun  had  begun  to 
flecker  with  his  first  red  :  for  on  the  morrow  Alcinous 
had  promised  that  a  bark  should  be  in  readiness  to 
convoy  him  to  Ithaca. 

In  the  morning  a  vessel  well  manned  and  appointed 
was  waiting  for  him  ;  into  which  the  king  and  queen 
heaped  presents  of  gold  and  silver,  massy  plate,  apparel, 
armor,  and  whatsoever  things  of  cost  or  rarity  they 
judged  would  be  most  acceptable  to  their  guest :  and 
the  sails  being  set,  Ulysses  embarking  with  expressions 
of  regret  took  his  leave  of  his  royal  entertainers,  of  the 
fair  princess  (who  had  been  his  first  friend),  and  of  the 
peers  of  Phaeacia  ;  who  crowding  down  to  the  beach  to 
have  the  last  sight  of  their  illustrious  visitant,  beheld 
the  gallant  ship  with  all  her  canvas  spread,  bounding 
and  curveting  over  the  waves,  like  a  horse  proud  of  his 
rider  ;  or  as  if  she  knew  that  she  bore  Ulysses. 

He  whose  life  past  had  been  a  series  of  disquiets,  in 
seas  among  rude  waves,  in  battles  amongst  ruder  foes, 
now  slept  securely,  forgetting  all  ;  his  eyelids  bound  in 
such  deep  sleep,  as  only  yielded  to  death  ;  and  when 
they  reached  the  nearest  Ithacan  port  by  the  next  morn¬ 
ing,  he  was  still  asleep.  The  mariners  not  willing  to 
awake  him,  landed  him  softly,  and  laid  him  in  a  cave  at 
the  foot  of  an  olive-tree,  which  made  a  shady  recess  in 



that  narrow  harbor,  the  haunt  of  almost  none  but  the 
sea-nymphs,  which  are  called  Naiads  ;  few  ships  before  • 
this  Phseacian  vessel  having  put  into  that  haven,  by 
reason  of  the  difficulty  and  narrowness  of  the  entrance.. 
Here  leaving  him  asleep,  and  disposing  in  safe  places 
near  him  the  presents  with  which  king  Alcinous  had 
dismissed  him,  they  departed  for  Pheeacia  ;  where  these 
wretched  mariners  never  again  set  foot ;  but  just  as  they 
arrived,  and  thought  to  salute  their  country  earth,  in 
sight  of  their  city’s  turrets,  and  in  open  view  of  their 
friends  who  from  the  harbor  with  shouts  greeted  their 
return,  their  vessel  and  all  the  mariners  which  were  in 
her  were  turned  to  stone,  and  stood  transformed  and 
fixed  in  sight  of  the  whole  Phaeacian  city,  where  it  yet 
stands,  by  Neptune’s  vindictive  wrath  ;  who  resented 
thus  highly  the  contempt  which  those  Phaeacians  had 
shown  in  convoying  home  a  man  whom  the  god  had 
destined  to  destruction.  Hence  the  Phaeacians  at  this  day 
will  at  no  price  be  induced  to  lend  their  ships  to  stran¬ 
gers,  or  to  become  the  carriers  for  other  nations,  so 
highly  do  they  still  dread  the  displeasure  of  the  sea-god, 
while  they  see  that  terrible  monument  ever  in  sight. 

When  Ulysses  awoke,  which  was  not  till  some  time 
after  the  mariners  had  departed,  he  did  not  at  first  know 
his  country  again,  either  that  long  absence  had  made  it 
strange,  or  that  Minerva  (which  was  more  likely)  had 
cast  a  cloud  about  his  eyes,  that  he  should  have  greater 
pleasure  hereafter  in  discovering  his  mistake  ;  but  like 
a  man  suddenly  awaking  in  some  desert  isle,  to  whicli 

Ulysses  Awakens  in  Ithaca. 



his  sea-mates  have  transported  him  in  his  sleep,  he 
looked  around,  and  discerning  no  known  objects,  he  cast 
his  hands  to  heaven  for  pity,  and  complained  on  those 
ruthless  men  who  had  beguiled  him  with  a  promise  of 
•conveying  him  home  to  his  country,  and  perfidiously 
left  him  to  perish  in  an  unknown  land.  But  then  the 
rich  presents  of  gold  and  silver  given  him  by  Alcinous, 
which  he  saw  carefully  laid  up  in  secure  places  near 
him,  staggered  him  :  which  seemed  not  like  the  act  of 
wrongful  or  unjust  men,  such  as  turn  pirates  for  gain,  or 
land  helpless  passengers  on  remote  coasts  to  possess 
themselves  of  their  goods. 

While  he  remained  in  this  suspense,  there  came  up  to 
him  a  young  shepherd,  clad  in  the  finer  sort  of  apparel, 
such  as  kings’  sons  wore  in  those  days  when  princes  did 
not  disdain  to  tend  sheep,  who  accosting  him,  was 
saluted  again  by  Ulysses,  who  asked  him  what  country 
that  was,  on  which  he  had  been  just  landed,  and 
whether  it  were  a  part  of  a  continent  or  an  island.  The 
young  shepherd  made  show  of  wonder,  to  hear  any  one 
ask  the  name  of  that  land  ;  as  country  people  are  apt  to  es¬ 
teem  those  for  mainly  ignorant  and  barbarous  who  do  not 
know  the  names  of  places  which  are  familiar  to  them , 
though  perhaps  they  who  ask  have  had  no  opportunities 
of  knowing,  and  may  have  come  from  far  countries. 

“I  had  thought,”  said  he,  “  that  all  people  knew  our 
land.  It  is  rocky  and  barren,  to  be  sure  ;  but  well 
enough  :  it  feeds  a  goat  or  an  ox  well  ;  it  is  not  wanting 
neither  in  wine  nor  in  wheat  ;  it  has  good  springs  of 



water,  some  fair  rivers  ;  and  wood  enough,  as  you  may' 
see  :  it  is  called  Ithaca.” 

Ulysses  was  joyed  enough  to  find  himself  in  his  own 
country  ;  but  so  prudently  he  carried  his  joy,,  that  dis¬ 
sembling  his  true  name  and  quality,  he  pretended  to  the 
shepherd  that  he  was  only  some  foreigner  who  by  stress 
of  weather  had  put  into  that  port :  and  framed  on  the 
sudden  a  story  to  make  it  plausible,  how  he  had  come 
from  Crete  in  a  ship  of  Pliseacia  ;  when  the  young  shep¬ 
herd  laughing,  and  taking  Ulysses’  hand  in  both  his, 
said  to  him  :  “  He  must  be  cunning,  I  find,  who  thinks 
to  overreach  you.  What,  cannot  you  quit  your  wiles 
and  your  subtleties,  now  that  you  are  in  a  state  of 
security?  must  the  first  word  with  which  you  salute 
your  native  earth  be  an  untruth  ?  and  think  you  that 
you  are  unknown?  ” 

Ulysses  looked  again  ;  and  he  saw,  not  a  shepherd, 
but  a  beautiful  woman,  whom  he  immediately  knew  to 
be  the  goddess  Minerva,  that  in  the  wars  of  Troy  had 
frequently  vouchsafed  her  sight  to  him  ;  and  had  been 
with  him  since  in  perils,  saving  him  unseen. 

“  Let  not  my  ignorance  offend  thee,  great  Minerva,” 
he  cried,  “or  move  thy  displeasure,  that  in  that  shape  I 
knew  thee  not ;  since  the  skill  of  discerning  the  deities 
is  not  attainable  by  wit  or  study,  but  hard  to  be  hit  by 
the  wisest  of  mortals.  To  know  thee  trulv  through  all 
thy  changes  is  only  given  to  those  whom  thou  art 
pleased  to  grace.  To  all  men  thou  takest  all  like¬ 
nesses.  All  men  in  their  wits  think  that  they  know 


Ulysses  and  the  Goddess  Minerva. 






thee,  and  that  they  have  thee.  Thou  art  wisdom  itself. 
But  a  semblance  of  thee,  which  is  false  wisdom,  often  is 
taken  for  thee  :  so  thy  counterfeit  view  appears  to  many, 
but  thy  true  presence  to  few:  those  are  they  which, 
loving  thee  above  all,  are  inspired  with  light  from  thee 
to  know  thee.  But  this  I  surely  know,  that  all  the 
time  the  sons  of  Greece  waged  war  against  Troy,  I  was 
sundry  times  graced  with  thy  appearance  ;  but  since, 
I  have  never  been  able  to  set  eyes  upon  thee  ;  but  have 
wandered  at  my  own  discretion,  to  myself  a  blind  guide, 
erring  up  and  down  the  world,  wanting  thee.  ” 

Then  Minerva  cleared  his  eyes,  and  he  knew  the 
ground  on  which  he  stood  to  be  Ithaca,  and  that  cave  to 
be  the  same  which  the  people  of  Ithaca  had  in  former 
times  made  sacred  to  the  sea-nymphs,  and  where  he 
himself  had  done  sacrifices  to  them  a  thousand  times  ; 
and  full  in  his  view  stood  Mount  Nerytus  with  all  its 
woods  :  so  that  now  he  knew  for  a  certainty  that  he  was 
arrived  in  his  own  country,  and  with  the  delight  which 
he  felt  could  not  forbear  stooping  and  kissing  the  soil. 

The  transformation  of  Ulysses  by  Minerva. 


The  change  from  a  king  to  a  beggar — Eumseus  and  the  herdsmen — 


Not  long  did  Minerva  suffer  Him  to  indulge  vain 
transports,  but  briefly  recounting  to  him  the  events 
which  had  taken  place  in  Ithaca  during  his  absence,  she 
showed  him  that  his  way  to  his  wife  and  throne  did  not 
lie  so  open,  but  that  before  he  was  reinstated  in  the 
secure  possession  of  them  he  must  encounter  many  diffi¬ 
culties.  His  palace,  wanting  its  king,  was  become  a 
resort  of  insolent  and  imperious  men,  the  chief  nobility 
of  Ithaca  and  of  the  neighboring  isles,  who,  in  the  con¬ 
fidence  of  Ulysses  being  dead,  came  as  suitors  to 
Penelope.  The  queen  (it  was  true)  continued  single, 
but  was  little  better  than  a  state-prisoner  in  the  power 
of  these  men,  who  under  a  pretence  of  waiting  her 
decision,  occupied  the  king’s  house,  rather  as  owners 
than  guests,  lording  and  domineering  at  their  pleasure, 
profaning  the  palace,  and  wasting  the  royal  substance, 

with  their  feasts  and  mad  riots.  Moreover,  the  goddess 
(122)  . 



told  him  how,  fearing  the  attempts  of  these  lawless  men 
upon  the  person  of  his  young  son  Telemachus,  she  her¬ 
self  had  put  it  into  the  heart  of  the  prince  to  go  and  seek 
his  father  in  far  countries  ;  how  in  the  shape  of  Mentor 
she  had  borne  him  company  in  his  long  search  ;  which, 
though  failing,  as  she  meant  it  should  fail,  in  its  first 
object,  had  yet  had  this  effect,  that  through  hardships 
he  had  learned  endurance,  through  experience  he  had 
gathered  wisdom,  and  wherever  his  footsteps  had  been 
he  had  left  such  memorials  of  his  worth,  as  the  fame  of 
Ulysses’  son  was  already  blown  throughout  the  world. 
That  it  was  now  not  many  days  since  Telemachus  had 
arrived  in  the  island,  to  the  great  joy  of  the  queen,  his 
mother,  who  had  thought  him  dead,  by  reason  of  his 
long  absence,  and  had  begun  to  mourn  for  him  with  a 
grief  equal  to  that  which  she  endured  for  Ulysses  ;  the 
goddess  herself  having  so  ordered  the  course  of  his 
adventures  that  the  time  of  his  return  should  correspond 
with  the  return  of  Ulysses,  that  they  might  together 
concert  measures  how  to  repress  the  power  and  insolence 
-of  those  wicked  suitors.  This  the  goddess  told  him  ; 
but  of  the  particulars  of  his  son’s  adventures,  of  his 
having  been  detained  in  the  Delightful  Island,  which 
his  father  had  so  lately  left,  of  Calypso,  and  her  nymphs, 
and  the  many  strange  occurrences  which  may  be  read 
with  profit  and  delight  in  the  history  of  the  prince’s 
adventures,  she  forbore  to  tell  him  as  yet,  as  judging 
that  he  would  hear  them  with  greater  pleasure  from 
the  lips  of  his  son,  when  he  should  have  him  in  an 



hour  of  stillness  and  safety,  when  their  work  should  be 
done,  and  none  of  their  enemies  left  alive  to  trouble 

Then  they  sat  down,  the  goddess  and  Ulysses,  at  the 
foot  of  a  wild  olive-tree,  consulting  how  they  might  with 
safety  bring  about  his  restoration.  And  when  Ulysses 
revolved  in  his  mind  how  that  his  enemies  were  a  multi¬ 
tude,  and  he  single,  he  began  to  despond,  and  he  said  : 

‘  ‘  I  shall  die  an  ill  death  like  Agamemnon  ;  in  the 
threshold  of  my  own  house  I  shall  perish,  like  that  un¬ 
fortunate  monarch,  slain  by  some  one  of  my  wife’s 
suitors.”  But  then  again  calling  to  mind  his  ancient 
courage,  he  secretly  wished  that  Minerva  would  but 
breathe  such  a  spirit  into  his  bosom  as  she  enflamed  him 
with  in  the  day  of  Troy’s  destruction,  that  he  might 
encounter  with  three  hundred  of  those  impudent  suitors 
at  once,  and  strew  the  pavements  of  his  beautiful  palace 
with  their  blood  and  brains. 

And  Minerva  knew  his  thoughts,  and  she  said  :  “I 
will  be  strongly  with  thee,  if  thou  fail  not  to  do  thy 
part.  And  for  a  sign  between  us  that  I  will  perform 
my  promise,  and  for  a  token  on  thy  part  of  obedience,  I 
must  change  thee,  that  thy  person  may  not  be  known 
of  men.” 

Then  Ulysses  bowed  his  head  to  receive  the  divine 
impression,  and  Minerva  by  her  great  power  changed 
his  person  so  that  it  might  not  be  known.  She  changed 
him  to  appearance  into  a  very  old  man,  yet  such  a  one 
as  by  his  limbs  and  gait  seemed  to  have  been  some  con- 



siderable  person  in  his  time  and  to  retain  yet  some  re¬ 
mains  of  his  own  prodigious  strength.  Also,  instead 
of  those  rich  robes  in  which  king  Alcinous  had  clothed 
him,  she  threw  over  his  limbs  such  old  and  tattered  rags 
as  wandering  beggars  usually  wear.  A  staff  supported 
his  steps,  and  a  scrip  hung  to  his  back,  such  as  travel¬ 
ling  mendicants  use,  to  hold  the  scraps  which  are  given 
to  them  at  rich  men’s  doors.  So  from  a  king  he  became 
a  beggar,  as  wise  Tiresias  had  predicted  to  him  in  the 

To  complete  his  humiliation,  and  to  prove  his  obe¬ 
dience  by  suffering,  she  next  directed  him  in  this  beggarly 
attire  to  go  and  present  himself  to  his  old  herdsman  Eu- 
mseus,  who  had  the  care  of  his  swine  and  his  cattle,  and 
had  been  a  faithful  steward  to  him  all  the  time  of  his 
absence.  Then  strictly  charging  Ulysses  that  he  should 
reveal  himself  to  no  man  but  to  his  own  son,  whom  she 
would  send  to  him  when  she  saw  occasion,  the  goddess 
went  her  way. 

The  transformed  Ulysses  bent  his  course  to  the  cottage 

of  the  herdsman,  and  entering  it  at  the  front  court,  the 

dogs,  of  which  Eumseus  kept  many  fierce  ones  for  the 

protection  of  the  cattle,  flew  with  open  mouths  upon 

him,  as  those  ignoble  animals  have  ofttimes  an  antipathy 

to  the  sight  of  anything  like  a  beggar,  and  would  have 

rent  him  in  pieces  with  their  teeth,  if  Ulysses  had  not 

had  the  prudence  to  let  fall  his  staff,  which  had  chiefly 

provoked  their  fury,  and  sat  himself  down  in  a  careless 

fashion  upon  the  ground  ;  but  for  all  that  some  serious 



liurt  had  certainly  been  done  to  him,  so  raging  the  dogs 
were,  had  not  the  herdsman,  whom  the  barking  of  the 
dogs  had  fetched  out  of  the  house,  with  shouting  and 
with  throwing  of  stones  repressed  them. 

He  said,  when  he  saw  Ulysses,  “  Old  father,  how  near 
you  were  to  being  torn  in  pieces  by  these  rude  dogs  !  I 
should  never  have  forgiven  myself,  if  through  neglect 
of  mine  any  hurt  had  happened  to  you.  But  heaven 
has  given  me  so  many  cares  to  my  portion,  that  I  might 
well  be  excused  for  not  attending  to  everything :  while 
here  I  lie  grieving  and  mourning  for  the  absence  of 
that  majesty  which  once  ruled  here,  and  am  forced  to 
fatten  his  swine  and  his  cattle  for  evil  men,  who  hate 
him,  and  who  wish  his  death  ;  when  he  perhaps  strays 
up  and  down  the  world,  and  has  not  wherewith  to  ap¬ 
pease  hunger,  if  indeed  he  yet  lives  (which  is  a  ques¬ 
tion)' and  enjoys  the  cheerful  light  of  the  sun.”  This 
he  said,  little  thinking  that  he  of  whom  he  spoke  now 
stood  before  him,  and  that  in  that  uncouth  disguise  and 
beggarly  obscurity  was  present  the  hidden  majesty  of 

Then  he  had  his  guest  into  the  house,  and  set  meat 
and  drink  before  him;  and  Ulysses  said,  “May  Jove 
and  all  the  other  gods  requite  you  for  the  kind  speeches 
and  hospitable  usage  which  you  have  shown  me  !  ” 

Eumseus  made  answer,  “My  poor  guest,  if  one  in 
much  worse  plight  than  yourself  had  arrived  here,  it 
were  a  shame  to  such  scanty  means  as  I  have,  if  I  had 
let  him  depart  without  entertaining  him  to  the  best  of 



my  ability.  Poor  men,  and  such  as  have  no  houses  of 
their  own,  are  by  Jove  himself  recommended  to  our 
care.  But  the  cheer  which  we  that  are  servants  to 
other  men  have  to  bestow,  is  but  sorry  at  most,  yet 
freely  and  lovingly  I  give  it  you.  Indeed  there  once 
ruled  here  a  man,  whose  return  the  gods  have  set  their 
faces  against,  who,  if  he  had  been  suffered  to  reign  in 
peace  and  grow  old  among  us,  would  have  been  kind  to 
me  and  mine.  But  he  is  gone ;  and  for  his  sake  would 
to  God  that  the  whole  posterity  of  Helen  might  perish 
with  her,  since  in  her  quarrel  so  many  worthies  have 
perished.  But  such  as  your  fare  is,  eat  it,  and  be  wel¬ 
come  ;  such  lean  beasts  as  are  food  for  poor  herdsmen. 
The  fattest  go  to  feed  the  voracious  stomachs  of  the 
queen’s  suitors.  Shame  on  their  unworthiness,  there  is 
no  day  in  which  two  or  three  of  the  noblest  of  the 
herd  are  not  slain  to  support  their  feasts  and  their 

Ulysses  gave  good  ear  to  his  words,  and  as  he  ate  his 
meat,  he  even  tore  it  and  rent  it  with  his  teeth,  for  mere 
vexation  that  his  fat  cattle  should  be  slain  to  glut  the 
appetites  of  those  godless  suitors.  And  he  said,  “What 
chief  or  what  ruler  is  this,  that  thou  commendest  so 
highly,  and  sayest  that  he  perished  at  Troy  ?  I  am  but 
a  stranger  in  these  parts.  It  may  be  I  have  heard  of 
some  such  in  my  long  travels.” 

Kumseus  answered,  “Old  father,  never  one  of  all  the 
strangers  that  have  come  to  our  coast  with  news  of 
Ulysses  being  alive,  could  gain  credit  with  the  queen  or 



lier  son  yet.  These  travellers,  to  get  raiment  or  a  meal, 
will  not  stick  to  invent  any  lie.  Truth  is  not  the 
commodity  they  deal  in.  Never  did  the  queen  get  any- 
thing  of  them  but  lies.  She  receives  all  that  come 
graciously,  hears  their  stories,  inquires  all  she  can,  but 
all  ends  in  tears  and  dissatisfaction.  But  in  God’s 
name,  old  father,  if  you  have  got  a  tale,  make  the  most 
ou’t,  it  may  gain  you  a  cloak  or  a  coat  from  somebody 
to  keep  you  warm  :  but  for  him  who  is  the  subject  of  it, 
dogs  and  vultures  loug  since  have  torn  him  limb  from 
limb,  or  some  great  fish  at  sea  has  devoured  him,  or  he 
lieth  with  no  better  monument  upon  his  bones  than  the 
sea-sand.  But  for  me,  past  all  the  race  of  men,  were 
tears  created  :  for  I  never  shall  find  so  kind  a  royal 
master  more  ;  not  if  my  father  or  my  mother  could  come 
again  and  visit  me  from  the  tomb,  would  my  eyes  be  so 
blessed,  as  they  should  be  with  the  sight  of  him  again, 
coming  as  from  the  dead.  In  his  last  rest  my  soul  shall 
love  him.  He  is  not  here,  nor  do  I  name  him  as  a  flat¬ 
terer,  but  because  I  am  thankful  for  his  love  aud  care 
which  he  had  to  me  a  poor  man  ;  and  if  I  knew  surely 
that  lie  was  past  all  shores  that  the  sun  shines  upon,  I 
would  invoke  him  as  a  deified  thing.” 

For  this  saying  of  Eumseus  the  waters  stood  in 
Ulysses’  eyes,  and  he  said,  “  My  friend,  to  say  and  to 
affirm  positively  that  he  cannot  be  alive,  is  to  give  too 
much  license  to  incredulity.  For,  not  to  speak  at  ran¬ 
dom,  but  with  as  much  solemnity  as  an  oath  comes  to, 
I  say  to  you  that  Ulysses  shall  return,  and  whenever 


that  day  shall  be,  then  shall  you  give  to  me  a  cloak  and  a 
coat ;  but  till  then,  I  will  not  receive  so  much  as  a  thread' 
of  a  garment,  but  rather  go  naked  ;  for  no  less  than  the 
gates  of  hell  do  I  hate  that  man,  whom  poverty  can 
force  to  tell  an  untruth.  Be  Jove  then  witness  to  my 
words,  that  this  very  year,  nay  ere  this  month  be  fully 
ended,  your  eyes  shall  behold  Ulysses,  dealing  vengeance 
in  his  own  palace  upon  the  wrongers  of  his  wife  and 
his  son.” 

To  give  the  better  credence  to  his  words,  he  amused 
Eumseus  with  a  forged  story  of  his  life,  feigning  of  him¬ 
self  that  he  was  a  Cretan  born,  and  one  that  went  with 
Idomeneus  to  the  wars  of  Troy.  Also  he  said  that  he 
knew  Ulysses,  and  related  various  passages  which  he 
alleged  to  have  happened  betwixt  Ulysses  and  himself, 
which  were  either  true  in  the  main,  as  having  really 
happened  between  Ulysses  and  some  other  person,  or 
were  so  like  to  truth,  as  corresponding  with  the  known 
character  and  actions  of  Ulysses  that  Eumseus’  incredu¬ 
lity  was  not  a  little  shaken.  Among  other  things  he  as¬ 
serted  that  he  had  lately  been  entertained  in  the  court 
of  Thesprotia,  where  the  king’s  son  of  the  country  had 
told  him  that  Ulysses  had  been  there  but  just  before  him,, 
and  was  gone  upon  a  voyage  to  the  oracle  of  Jove  ini 
Dodona,  whence  he  should  shortly  return,  and  a  ship, 
would  be  ready  by  the  bounty  of  the  Thesprotians  to. 
convoy  him  straight  to  Ithaca.  “And  in  token  that 
what  I  tell  you  is  true,”  said  Ulysses,  “if  your  king 
come  not  within  the  period  which  I  have  named,  you 



shall  have  leave  to  give  your  servants  commandment  to 
take  my  old  carcass  and  throw  it  headlong  from  some 
steep  rock  into  the  sea,  that  poor  men,  taking  example 
by  me,  may  fear  to  lie.”  But  Eumseus  made  answer 
that  that  should  be  small  satisfaction  or  pleasure  to  him. 

So  while  they  sat  discoursing  in  this  manner,  supper 
was  served  in,  and  the  servants  of  the  herdsman,  who 
had  been  out  all  day  in  the  fields,  came  in  to  supper, 
and  took  their  seats  at  the  fire,  for  the  night  was  bitter 
and  frosty.  After  supper,  Ulysses,  who  had  well  eaten 
and  drunken,  and  was  refreshed  with  the  herdsman’s 
good  cheer,  was  resolved  to  try  whether  his  host’s  hos¬ 
pitality  would  extend  to  the  lending  him  a  good  warm 
mantle  or  rug  to  cover  him  in  the  niglit-season  ;  and 
framing  an  artful  tale  for  the  purpose,  in  a  merry  mood, 
filling  a  cup  of  Greek  wine,  he  thus  began  : 

“I  will  tell  you  a  story  of  your  king  Ulysses  and  my¬ 
self.  If  there  is  ever  a  time  when  a  man  may  have  leave 
to  tell  his  own  stories,  it  is  when  he  has  drunken  a  little 
too  much.  Strong  liquor  driveth  the  fool,  and  moves 
even  the  heart  of  the  wise,  moves  and  impels  him  to 
.sing  and  to  dance,  and  break  forth  in  pleasant  laughters, 
and  perchance  to  prefer  a  speech,  too,  which  were  better 
kept  in.  When  the  heart  is  open  the  tongue  will  be 
stirring.  But  you  shall  hear.  We  led  our  powers  to 
ambush  ouce  under  the  walls  of  Troy.” 

The  herdsmen  crowded  about  him  eager  to  hear  any¬ 
thing  which  related  to  their  king  Ulysses  and  the  wars 
of  Troy,  and  thus  he  went  on  : 



“  I  remember  Ulysses  and  Menelaus  had  the  direction 
of  that  enterprise,  and  they  were  pleased  to  join  me  with 
them  in  the  command.  I  was  at  that  time  in  some 
repute  among  men,  though  fortune  has  played  me  a 
trick  since,  as  you  may  perceive.  But  I  was  somebody 


in  those  times,  and  could  do  something.  Be  that  as  it 
may,  a  bitter,  freezing  night  it  was,  such  a  night  as 
this,  the  air  cut  like  steel,  and  the  sleet  gathered  on 
our  shields  like  crystals.  There  was  some  twenty  of  us 
that  lay  close  crouched  down  among  the  reeds  and  bul¬ 
rushes  that  grew  in  the  moat  that  goes  round  the  city. 
The  rest  of  us  made  tolerable  shift,  for  every  man  had 
been  careful  to  bring  with  him  a  good  cloak  or  mantle 
to  wrap  over  his  armor  and  keep  himself  warm ;  but  I, 
as  it  chanced,  had  left  my  cloak  behind  me,  as  not  ex¬ 
pecting  that  the  night  would  prove  so  cool,  or  rather  I 
believe  because  I  had  at  that  time  a  brave  suit  of  new 
armor  on,  which  being  a  soldier,  and  having  some  of 
the  soldier’s  vice  about  me,  vanity ,  I  was  not  willing 
should  be  hidden  under  a  cloak  ;  but  I  paid  for  my  indis¬ 
cretion  with  my  sufferings,  for  the  inclement  night,  and 
the  wet  of  the  ditch  in  which  we  lay,  I  was  well-nigh 
frozen  to  death  ;  and  when  I  could  endure  no  longer,  I 
jogged  Ulysses,  who  was  next  to  me,  and  had  a  nimble 
ear,  and  make  known  my  case  to  him,  assuring  him 
that  I  must  inevitably  perish.  He  answered  in  a  low 
whisper,  1  Hush,  lest  any  Greek  should  hear  you,  and 
take  notice  of  your  softness.’  Not  a  word  more  he  said, 
but  showed  as  if  he  had  no  pity  for  the  plight  I  was  in. 



But  he  was  as  considerate  as  he  was  brave,  and  even 
then,  as  he  lay  with  his  head  reposing  upon  his  hand, 
he  was  meditating  how  to  relieve  me,  without  exposing 
my  weakness  to  the  soldiers.  At  last  raising  up  his 
head,  he  made  as  if  he  had  been  asleep,  and  said, 

‘  Friends,  I  have  been  warned  in  a  dream  to  send  to 
the  fleet  to  king  Agamemnon  for  a  supply,  to  recruit 
our  numbers,  for  we  are  not  sufficient  for  this  enter¬ 
prise;’  and  they  believing  him,  one  Thoas  was  de¬ 
spatched  on  that  errand,  who  departing,  for  more  speed, 
as  Ulysses  had  foreseen,  left  his  upper  garment  behind 
him,  a  good  warm  mantle,  to  which  I  succeeded,  and  by 
the  help  of  it  got  through  the  night  with  credit.  This 
shift  Ulysses  made  for  one  in  need,  and  would  to  heaven 
that  I  had  now  the  strength  in  my  limbs,  which  made 
me  in  those  days  to  be  accounted  fit  to  be  a  leader  under 
Ulysses  !  I  should  not  then  want  the  loan  of  a  cloak  or 
mantle,  to  wrap  about  me  and  shield  my  old  limbs  from 
the  night-air.” 

The  tale  pleased  the  herdsmen  ;  and  Eumseus,  who 
more  than  all  the  rest  was  gratified  to  hear  tales  of 
Ulysses,  true  or  false,  said,  that  for  this  story  he  de¬ 
served  a  mantle  and  a  night’s  lodging,  which  he  should 
have  ;  and  he  spread  for  him  a  bed  of  goat  and  sheep 
skins  by  the  fire  ;  and  the  seeming  beggar,  who  was  in¬ 
deed  the  true  Ulysses,  lay  down  and  slept  under  that 
poor  roof,  in  that  abject  disguise  to  which  the  will  of 
Minerva  had  subjected  him. 

When  morning  was  come,  Ulysses  made  offer  to 


depart,  as  if  he  were  not  willing  to  burthen  his  host’s 
hospitality  any  longer,  but  said  that  he  would  go  and 
try  the  humanity  of  the  town’s  folk,  if  any  there  would 
bestow  upon  him  a  bit  of  bread  or  a  cup  of  drink. 
Perhaps  the  queen’s  suitors  (he  said)  out  of  their  full 
feasts  would  bestow  a  scrap  on  him  :  for  he  could  wait 
at  table,  if  need  were,  and  play  the  nimble  serving-man, 
he  could  fetch  wood  (he  said)  or  build  a  fire,  prepare 
roast  meat  or  boiled,  mix  the  wine  with  water,  or  do  any 
of  those  offices  which  recommended  poor  men  like  him 
to  do  services  in  great  men’s  houses. 

“Alas!  poor  guest,”  said  Eumaeus,  “you  know  not 
what  you  speak.  What  should  so  poor  and  old  a  man  as 
you  do  at  the  suitors’  tables?  Their  light  minds  are 
not  given  to  such  grave  servitors.  They  must  have 
youths,  richly  tricked  out  in  flowing  vests,  with  curled 
hair,  like  so  many  of  Jove’s  cup-bearers,  to  fill  out  the 
wine  to  them  as  they  sit  at  table,  and  to  shift  their 
trenchers.  Their  gorged  insolence  would  but  despise 
and  make  a  mock  at  thy  age.  Stay  here.  Perhaps  the 
queen,  or  Telemachus,  hearing  of  thy  arrival,  may  send 
to  thee  of  their  bounty.” 

As  he  spake  these  words,  the  steps  of  one  crossing  the 
front  court  were  heard,  and  a  noise  of  the  dogs  fawning 
and  leaping  about  as  for  joy  ;  by  which  token  Eumaeus 
guessed  that  it  was  the  prince,  who  hearing  of  a  traveler 
being  arrived  at  Eumaeus’  cottage  that  brought  tidings 
of  his  father,  was  come  to  search  the  truth,  and  Eumaeus 
said  :  “It  is  the  tread  of  Telemachus,  the  son  of  king 



Ulysses.”  Before  lie  could  well  speak  the  words,  the 
prince  was  at  the  door,  whom  Ulysses  rising  to  receive, 
Telemachus  would  not  suffer  that  so  aged  a  man,  as  he 
appeared,  should  rise  to  do  respect  to  him,  but  he  cour¬ 
teously  and  reverently  took  him  by  the  hand,  and 
inclined  his  head  to  him,  as  if  he  had  surely  known  that 
it  was  his  father  indeed  :  but  Ulysses  covered  his  eyes 
with  his  hands,  that  he  might  not  show  the  waters 
which  stood  in  them.  And  Telemachus  said,  “Is 
this  the  man  who  can  tell  us  tidings  of  the  king  my 
father  ?  ” 

“He  brags  himself  to  be  a  Cretan  born,”  said 
Kumseus,  ‘  ‘  and  that  he  has  been  a  soldier  and  a  traveler, 
but  whether  he  speak  the  truth  or  not,  he  alone  can  tell. 
But  whatsoever  he  has  been,  what  he  is  now  is  apparent. 
Such  as  he  appears,  I  give  him  to  you  ;  do  what  you  will 
with  him  ;  his  boast  at  present  is  that  he  is  at  the  very 
best  a  supplicant.” 

“Be  he  what  he  may,”  said  Telemachus,  “I  accept 
him  at  your  hands.  But  where  I  should  bestow  him  I 
know  not,  seeing  that  in  the  palace  his  age  would  not 
exempt-  him  from  the  scorn  and  contempt  which  my 
mother’s  suitors  in  their  light  minds  would  be  sure  to 
fling  upon  him.  A  mercy  if  he  escaped  without  blows  : 
for  they  are  a  company  of  evil  men,  whose  profession  is 
wrongs  and  violence.” 

Ulysses  answered  :  “  Since  it  is  free  for  any  man  to 
speak  in  presence  of  your  greatness,  I  must  say  that  my 
heart  puts  on  a  wolfish  inclination  to  tear  and  to  devour, 



hearing  your  speech,  that  these  suitors  should  with  such 
injustice  rage,  where  you  should  have  the  rule  solely. 
What  should  the  cause  be?  do  you  wilfully  give  way  to 
their  ill  manners  ?  or  has  your  government  been  such  as 
has  procured  ill-will  toward  you  from  your  people?  or 
do  you  mistrust  your  kinsfolk  and  friends  in  such  sort, 
as  without  trial  to  decline  their  aid?  a  man’s  kindred 
are  they  that  he  might  trust  to  when  extremities  ran 

Telemachus  replied:  “The  kindred  of  Ulysses  are 
few.  I  have  no  brothers  to  assist  me  in  the  strife.  But 
the  suitors  are  powerful  in  kindred  and  friends.  The 
house  of  old  Arcesius  has  had  this  fate  from  the  heavens, 
that  from  old  it  still  has  been  supplied  with  single  heirs. 
To  Arcesius  Laertes  only  was  born,  from  Laertes 
descended  only  Ulysses,  from  Ulysses  I  alone  have 
sprung,  whom  he  left  so  young,  that  from  me  never 
comfort  arose  to  him.  But  the  end  of  all  rests  in  the 
hands  of  the  gods.” 

Then  Kumseus  departing  to  see  to  some  necessary 
business  of  his  herds,  Minerva  took  a  woman’s  shape, 
and  stood  in  the  entry  of  the  door,  and  was  seen  to 
Ulysses,  but  by  his  son  she  was  not  seen,  for  the 
presences  of  the  gods  are  invisible  save  to  those  to  whom 
they  will  to  reveal  themselves.  Nevertheless  the  dogs 
which  were  about  the  door  saw  the  goddess,  and  durst 
not  bark,  but  went  crouching  and  licking  of  the  dust 
for  fear.  And  giving  signs  to  Ulysses  that  the  time  was 
now  come  in  which  he  should  make  himself  known  to 



his  son,  by  her  great  power  she  changed  back  his  shape 
into  the  same  which  it  was  before  she  transformed  him  ; 
and  Telemachus,  who  saw  the  change,  bnt  nothing  of 
the  manner  by  which  it  was  effected,  only  he  saw  the 
appearance  of  a  king  in  the  vigor  of  his  age  where  but 
just  now  he  had  seen  a  worn  and  decrepit  beggar,  was 
struck  with  fear,  and  said,  “Some  god  has  done  this 
house  this  honor,”  and  he  turned  away  his  eyes,  and 
would  have  worshipped.  But  his  father  permitted  not, 
but  said,  ‘  ‘  Look  better  at  me  ;  I  am  no  deity,  why  put 
you  upon  me  the  reputation  of  godhead  ?  I  am  no  more 
but  thy  father  :  I  am  even  he  ;  I  am  that  Ulysses,  by 
reason  of  whose  absence  thy  youth  has  been  exposed  to 
such  wrongs  from  injurious  men.”  Then  kissed  he  his 
son,  nor  could  any  longer  refrain  those  tears  which  he 
had  held  under  such  mighty  restraint  before,  though 
they  would  ever  be  forcing  themselves  out  in  spite  of 
him  ;  but  now,  as  if  their  sluices  had  burst,  they  came 
out  like  rivers,  pouring  upon  the  warm  cheeks  of  his 
sou.  Nor  yet  by  all  these  violent  arguments  could 
Telemachus  be  persuaded  to  believe  that  it  was  his 
father,  but  he  said,  some  deity  had  taken  that- shape  to 
mock  him  ;  for  he  affirmed,  that  it  was  not  in  the  power 
of  any  man,  who  is  sustained  by  mortal  food,  to  change 
his  shape  so  in  a  moment  from  age  to  youth  :  for  “  but 
now,”  said  he,  “you  were  all  wrinkles,  and  were  old, 
and  now  you  look  as  the  gods  are  pictured.” 

His  father  replied  :  “Admire,  but  fear  not,  and  know 
me  to  be  at  all  parts  substantially  thy  father,  who  in  the 



inner  powers  of  his  mind,  and  the  unseen  workings  of  a 
father’s  love  to  thee,  answers  to  his  outward  shape  and 
pretense  !  There  shall  no  more  Ulysseses  come  here.  I 
am  he  that  after  twenty  years’  absence,  and  suffering  a 
world  of  ill,  have  recovered  at  last  the  sight  of  my  country 
earth.  It  was  the  will  of  Minerva  that  I  should  be 
changed  as  you  saw  me.  She  put  me  thus  together  ; 
she  puts  together  or  takes  to  pieces  whom  she  pleases. 
It  is  in  the  law  of  her  free  power  to  do  it :  sometimes  to 
show  her  favorites  under  a  cloud,  and  poor,  and  again 
to  restore  to  them  their  ornaments.  The  gods  raise  and 
throw  down  men  with  ease.” 

Then  Telemachus  could  hold  out  no  longer,  but  he 
gave  way  now  to  a  full  belief  and  persuasion,  of  that 
which  for  joy  at  first  he  could  not  credit,  that  it  was 
indeed  his  true  and  very  father,  that  stood  before  him  ; 
and  they  embraced,  and  mingled  their  tears. 

Then  said  Ulysses,  “Tell  me  who  these  suitors  are, 
what  are  their  numbers,  and  how  stands  the  queen  thy 
mother  affected  to  them  ?  ’  ’ 

“She  bears  them  still  in  expectation,”  said  Te- 
lemachus,  “which  she  never  means  to  fulfil,  that  she 
will  accept  the  hand  of  some  one  of  them  in  second 
nuptials.  For  she  fears  to  displease  them  by  an  absolute 
refusal.  So  from  day  to  day  she  lingers  them  on  with 
hope,  which  they  are  content  to  bear  the  deferring  of, 
while  they  have  entertainment  at  free  cost  in  our 

Then  said  Ulysses,  “Reckon  up  their  numbers  that 



we  may  know  their  strength  and  ours,  if  we  having  none 
but  ourselves  may  hope  to  prevail  against  them.” 

“O  father,”  he  replied,  “I  have  ofttimes  heard  of 
your  fame  for  wisdom,  and  of  the  great  strength  of  your 
arm,  but  the  venturous  mind  which  your  speeches  now 
indicate  moves  me  even  to  amazement :  for  in  no  wise 
can  it  consist  with  wisdom  or  a  sound  mind,  that  two 
should  try  their  strengths  against  a  host.  Nor  five,  or 
ten,  or  twice  ten  strong  are  these  suitors,  but  many  more 
by  much  :  from  Dulichium  came  there  fifty  and  two, 
they  and  their  servants  ;  twice  twelve  crossed  the  seas 
hither  from  Samos  ;  from  Zacynthus  twice  ten  ;  of  our 
native  Ithacans,  men  of  chief  note,  are  twelve  who  aspire 
to  the  bed  and  crown  of  Penelope  ;  and  all  these  under 
one  strong  roof,  a  fearful  odds  against  two  !  My  father, 
there  is  need  of  caution,  lest  the  cup  which  your  great 
mind  so  thirsts  to  taste  of  vengeance  prove  bitter  to 
yourself  in  the  drinking.  And  therefore  it  were  well 
that  we  would  bethink  us  of  some  one  who  might  assist 
us  in  this  undertaking.” 

“  Thinkest  thou,”  said  his  father,  “  if  we  had  Minerva 
and  the  king  of  skies  to  be  our  friends,  would  their 
sufficiencies  make  strong  our  part ;  or  must  we  look  out 
for  some  further  aid  yet  ?  ” 

“They  you  speak  of  are  above  the  clouds,”  said  Te- 
lemachus,  “and  are  sound  aids  indeed  ;  as  powers  that  not 
only  exceed  human,  but  bear  the  chiefest  sway  among 
the  gods  themselves.” 

Then  Ulysses  gave  directions  to  his  son  to  go  and 



mingle  with  the  suitors,  and  in  nowise  to  impart  his 
secret  to  any,  not  even  to  the  queen  his  mother,  but  to 
hold  himself  in  readiness,  and  to  have  his  weapons  and 
his  good  armor  in  preparation.  And  he  charged  him, 
that  when  he  himself  should  come  to  the  palace,  as  he 
meant  to  follow  shortly  after  and  present  himself  in  his 
beggar’s  likeness  to  the  suitors,  that  whatever  he  should 
see  which  might  grieve  his  heart,  with  what  foul  usage 
and  contumelious  language  soever  the  suitors  should  re¬ 
ceive  his  father,  coming  in  that  shape,  though  they  should 
strike  and  drag  him  by  the  heels  along  the  floors,  that 
he  should  not  stir  nor  make  offer  to  oppose  them,  further 
than  by  mild  words  to  expostulate  with  them,  until 
Minerva  from  heaven  should  give  the  sign  which  should 
be  the  prelude  to  their  destruction.  And  Telemachus 
promising  to  obey  his  instructions  departed  ;  and  the 
shape  of  Ulysses  fell  to  what  it  had  been  before,  and  he 
became  to  all  outward  appearance  a  beggar,  in  base  and 
beggarly  attire. 

The  Suitors  of  Penelope. 


The  queen’s  suitors — The  battle  of  the  beggars — The  armor  taken 
down — The  meeting  with  Penelope. 

From  the  house  of  Eumaeus  the  seeming  beggar  took 
his  way,  leaning  on  his  staff,  till  he  reached  the  palace, 
entering  in  at  the  hall  where  the  suitors  sat  at  meat. 
They  in  the  pride  of  their  feasting  began  to  break 
their  jests  in  mirthful  manner,  when  they  saw  one 
looking  so  poor  and  so  aged  approach.  He  who  ex¬ 
pected  no  better  entertainment  was  nothing  moved  at 
their  behavior,  but,  as  became  the  character  which  he 
had  assumed,  in  a  suppliant  posture  crept  by  turns  to 
every  suitor,  and  held  out  his  hands  for  some  charity, 
with  such  a  natural  and  beggar-resembling  grace,  that 
he  might  seem  to  have  practised  begging  all  his  life  ;  yet 
there  was  a  sort  of  dignity  in  his  most  abject  stoopings, 
that  whoever  had  seen  him  would  have  said,  If  it  had 
pleased  heaven  that  this  poor  man  had  been  born  a  king, 
he  would  gracefully  have  filled  a  throne.  And,  some 

pitied  him,  and  some  gave  him  alms,  as  their  present 



humors  inclined  them,  but  the  greater  part  reviled  him, 
and  bid  him  begone,  as  one  that  spoiled  their  feast ;  for 
the  presence  of  misery  has  this  power  with  it,  that  while 
it  stays,  it  can  dash  and  overturn  the  mirth  even  of 
those  who  feel  no  pity  or  wish  to  relieve  it  ;  nature 
bearing  this  witness  of  herself  in  the  hearts  of  the  most 

Now  Telemachus  sat  at  meat  with  the  suitors,  and 
knew  that  it  was  the  king  his  father,  who  in  that  shape 
begged  an  alms  ;  and  when  his  father  came  and  pre¬ 
sented  himself  before  him  in  turn,  as  he  had  done  to  the 
suitors  one  by  one,  he  gave  him  of  his  own  meat  which 
he  had  in  his  dish,  and  of  his  own  cup  to  drink.  And 
the  suitors  were  past  measure  offended  to  see  a  pitiful 
beggar,  as  they  esteemed  him,  to  be  so  choicely  regarded 
by  the  prince. 

Then  Antinous,  who  was  a  great  lord,  and  of  chief 
note  among  the  suitors,  said,  “  Prince  Telemachus  does 
ill  to  encourage  these  wandering  beggars,  who  go  from 
place  to  place,  affirming  that  they  have  been  some  con¬ 
siderable  persons  in  their  time,  filling  the  ears  of  such 
as  hearken  to  them  with  lies,  and  pressing  with  their 
bold  feet  into  kings’  palaces.  This  is  some  saucy  vaga¬ 
bond,  some  travelling  Egyptian.” 

“I  see,”  said  Ulysses,  “that  a  poor  man  should  get 
but  little  at  your  board,  scarce  should  he  get  salt  from 
your  hands  if  he  brought  his  own  meat.” 

Lord  Antinous,  indignant  to  be  answered  with  such 

sharpness  by  a  supposed  beggar,  snatched  up  a  stool, 



with  which  he  smote  Ulysses  where  the  neck  and 
shoulders  join.  This  usage  moved  not  Ulysses  ;  but 
in  his  great  heart  he  meditated  deep  evils  to  come  upon 
them  all,  which  for  a  time  must  be  kept  close,  and 
he  went  and  sat  himself  down  in  the  doorway  to  eat 
of  that  which  was  given  him,  and  he  said,  “  For  life 
or  possessions  a  man  will  fight,  but  for  his  belly  this 
man  smites.  If  a  poor  man  has  any  god  to  take  his 
part,  my  lord  Antinous  shall  not  live  to  be  the  queen’s 

Then  Antinous  raged  highly,  and  threatened  to  drag 
him  by  the  heels,  and  to  rend  his  rags  about  his  ears,  if 
he  spoke  another  word. 

But  the  other  suitors  did  in  no  wise  approve  of  the 
harsh  language,  nor  of  the  blow  which  Antinous  had 
dealt ;  and  some  of  them  said,  “  Who  knows  but  one  of 
the  deities  goes  about,  hid  under  that  poor  disguise?  for 
in  the  likeness  of  poor  pilgrims  the  gods  have  many 
times  descended  to  try  the  dispositions  of  men,  whether 
they  be  humane  or  impious.”  While  these  things 
passed,  Telemachus  sat  and  observed  all,  but  held  his 
peace,  remembering  the  instructions  of  his  father.  But 
secretly  he  waited  for  the  sign  which  Minerva  was  to  send 
from  heaven. 

That  day  there  followed  Ulysses  to  the  court  one  of 
the  common  sort  of  beggars,  Irus  by  name,  one  that  had 
received  alms  beforetime  of  the  suitors,  and  was  their 
ordinary  sport,  when  they  were  inclined  (as  that  dav)  to 
give  way  to  mirth,  to  see  him  eat  and  drink  ;  for  he  had 



the  appetite  of  six  men  ;  and  was  of  huge  stature  and 
proportions  of  body  ;  yet  had  iu  him  no  spirit  nor 
courage  of  a  man.  This  man,  thinking  to  curry  favor 
with  the  suitors,  and  recommend  himself  especially  to 
such  a  great  lord  as  Antinous  was,  began  to  revile  and 
scorn  Ulysses,  putting  foul  language  upon  him,  and 
fairly  challenging  him  to  -fight  with  the  fist.  But 
Ulysses,  deeming  his  railings  to  be  nothing  more  than 
jealousy  and  that  envious  disposition  which  beggars 
commonly  manifest  to  brothers  in  their  trade,  mildly 
besought  him  not  to  trouble  him,  but  to  enjoy  that  por¬ 
tion  which  the  liberality  of  their  entertainers  gave  him, 
as  he  did,  quietly  ;  seeing  that  of  their  bounty  there 
was  sufficient  for  all. 

But  Irus,  thinking  that  this  forbearance  in  Ulysses 
was  nothing  more  than  a  sign  of  fear,  so  much  the  more 
highly  stormed,  and  bellowed,  and  provoked  him  to  fight ; 
and  by  this  time  the  quarrel  had  attracted  the  notice  of 
the  suitors,  who  with  loud  laughter  and  shouting  egged 
on  the  dispute,  and  lord  Antinous  swore  by  all  the  gods 
it  should  be  a  battle,  and  that  in  that  hall  the  strife 
should  be  determined.  To  this  the  rest  of  the  suitors 
with  violent  clamors  acceded,  and  a  circle  was  made  for 
the  combatants,  and  a  fat  goat  was  proposed  as  the 
victor’s  prize,  as  at  the  Olympic  or  the  Pythian  games.. 
Then  Ulysses,  seeing  no  remedy,  or  being  not  unwilling 
that  the  suitors  should  behold  some  proof  of  that  strength 
which  ere  long  in  their  own  persons  they  were  to  taste 
of,  stripped  himself,  and  prepared  for  the  combat.  But 



first  lie  demanded  that  he  should  have  fair  play  shown 
him,  that  none  in  that  assembly  should  aid  his  opponent, 
or  take  part  against  him,  for,  being  an  old  man,  they 
might  easily  crush  him  with  their  strengths.  And  Tele- 
maclius  passed  his  word  that  no  foul  play  should  be 
shown  him,  but  that  each  party  should  be  left  to  their 
own  unassisted  strengths,  and  to  this  he  made  Autinous 
and  the  rest  of  the  suitors  swear. 

But  when  Ulysses  had  laid  aside  his  garments,  and 
was  bare  to  the  waist,  all  the  beholders  admired  at  the 
goodly  sight  of  his  large  shoulders  being  of  such  ex¬ 
quisite  shape  and  whiteness,  and  at  his  great  and 
brawny  bosom,  and  the  youthful  strength  which  seemed 
to  remain  in  a  man  thought  so  old  ;  and  they  said  : 
“What  limbs  and  what  sinews  he  lias!”  and  coward 
fear  seized  on  the  mind  of  that  great  vast  beggar,  and 
he  dropped  his  threats  and  big  words,  and  would  have 
fled,  but  lord  Antiuous  stayed  him,  and  threatened  him 
that  if  he  declined  the  combat,  he  would  put  him  a 
ship,  and  land  him  on  the  shores  where  king  Echetus 
reigned,  the  roughest  tyrant  which  at  that  time  the 
world  contained,  and  who  had  that  antipathy  to  rascal 
beggars,  such  as  he,  that  when  any  lauded  on  his  coast, 
he  would  crop  their  ears  and  noses  and  give  them  to  the 
dogs  to  tear.  So  Irus,  in  whom  fear  of  king  Echetus 
prevailed  above  the  fear  of  Ulysses,  addressed  himself  to 
fight.  But  Ulysses,  provoked  to  be  engaged  in  so  odious 
a  strife  with  a  fellow  of  his  base  conditions,  and  loathing: 
longer  to  be  made  a  spectacle  to  entertain  the  eyes  of 



his  foes,  with  one  blow  which  he  struck  him  beneath 
the  ear,  so  shattered  the  teeth  and  jawbone  of  this  soon 
baffled  coward,  that  he  laid  him  sprawling  in  the  dust, 
with  small  stomach  or  ability  to  renew  the  contest. 
Then  raising  him  on  his  feet,  he  led  him  bleeding  and 
sputtering  to  the  door,  and  put  his  staff  into  his  hand, 
and  bid  him  go  irse  his  command  upon  dogs  and  swine, 
but  not  presume  himself  to  be  lord  of  the  guests  another 
time,  nor  of  the  beggary  ! 

The  suitors  applauded  in  their  vain  minds  the  issue 
of  the  contest,  and  rioted  in  mirth  at  the  expense  of  poor 
Irus,  who  they  vowed  should  be  forthwith  embarked 
and  sent  to  king  Echetus  ;  and  they  bestowed  thanks  on 
Ulysses  for  ridding  the  court  of  that  unsavory  morsel, 
as  they  called  him  ;  but  in  their  inward  souls  they 
would  not  have  cared  if  Irus  had  been  victor,  and 
Ulysses  had  taken  the  foil,  but  it  was  mirth  to  them  to 
see  the  beggars  fight.  In  such  pastimes  and  light  enter¬ 
tainments  the  day  wore  away. 

When  evening  was  come  the  suitors  betook  them¬ 
selves  to  music  and  dancing.  And  Ulysses  leaned  his 
back  against  a  pillar  from  which  certain  lamps  hung 
which  gave  light  to  the  dancers,  and  he  made  show  of 
watching  the  dancers,  but  very  different  thoughts  were 
in  his  head.  And  as  he  stood  near  the  lamps,  the  light 
fell  upon  his  head,  which  was  thin  of  hair  and  bald,  as 
an  old  man’s.  And  Eurymachus,  a  suitor,  taking  occa¬ 
sion  from  some  words  which  were  spoken  before,  scoffed 
and  said  :  “Now  I  know  for  a  certainty  that  some  god 



lurks  under  the  poor  and  beggarly  appearance  of  this 
man,  for  as  he  stands  by  the  lamps,  his  sleek  head 
throws  beams  around  it,  like  as  it  were  a  glory.”  And 
another  said  :  “  He  passes  his  time  too  not  much  unlike 
the  gods,  lazily  living  exempt  from  labor,  taking  offer¬ 
ings  of  men.”  “I  warrant,”  said  Eurymachus  again, 
“  he  could  not  raise  a  fence  or  dig  a  ditch  for  his  liveli¬ 
hood,  if  a  man  would  hire  him  to  work  in  a  garden.” 

“I  wish,”  said  Ulysses,  “that  you  who  speak  this 
and  myself  were  to  be  tried  at  any  task-work,  that  I  had 
a  good  crooked  scythe  put  in  my  hand,  that  was  sharp 
and  strong,  and  you  such  another,  where  the  grass  grew 
longest,  to  be  up  by  daybreak,  mowing  the  meadows 
till  the  sun  went  down,  not  tasting  of  food  till  we  had 
finished,  or  that  we  were  set  to  plough  four  acres  in  one 
day  of  good  glebe  land,  to  see  whose  furrows  w^ere  even¬ 
ts  t  and  cleanest,  or  that  we  miodit  have  one  wrestling 
bout  together,  or  that  in  our  right  hands  a  good  steel¬ 
headed  lance  were  placed,  to  try  whose  blows  fell 
heaviest  and  thickest  upon  the  adversary’s  headpiece. 
I  would  cause  you  such  work,  as  you  should  have  small 
reason  to  reproach  me  with  being  slack  at  work.  But 
you  would  do  well  to  spare  me  this  reproach,  and  to 
save  your  strength,  till  the  owner  of  this  house  shall 
return,  till  the  day  when  Ulysses  shall  return,  when 
returning  he  shall  enter  upon  his  birthright.” 

This  was  a  galling  speech  to  those  suitors,  to  whom 
Ulysses’  return  was  indeed  the  thing  which  they  most 
dreaded  ;  and  a  sudden  fear  fell  upon  their  souls,  as  if 



they  were  sensible  of  the  real  presence  of  that  man  who 
did  indeed  stand  amongst  them,  but  not  in  that  form 


as  they  might  know  him  ;  and  Eurymachus,  incensed, 
snatched  a  massy  cup  which  stood  on  a  table  near,  and 
hurled  it  at  the  head  of  the  supposed  beggar,  and  but 
narrowly  missed  the  hitting  of  him  ;  and  all  the  suitors 
rose,  as  at  once,  to  thrust  him  out  of  the  hall,  which 
they  said  his  beggarly  presence  and  his  rude  speeches 
had  profaned.  But  Telemachus  cried  to  them  to  for¬ 
bear,  and  not  to  presume  to  lay  hands  upon  a  wretched 
man  to  whom  he  had  promised  protection. ,  He  asked 
if  they  were  mad,  to  mix  such  abhorred  uproar  with  his 
feasts.  He  bade  them  take  their  food  and  their  wine, 
to  sit  up  or  go  to  bed  at  their  free  pleasures,  so  long  as  he 
should  give  license  to  that  freedom  ;  but  why  should 
they  abuse  his  banquet,  or  let  the  words  which  a  poor  beg¬ 
gar  spake  have  power  to  move  their  spleens  so  fiercely  ? 

They  bit  their  lips  and  frowned  for  auger,  to  be 
checked  so  by  a  youth  ;  nevertheless  for  that  time  they 
had  the  grace  to  abstain,  either  for  shame,  or  that 
Minerva  had  infused  into  them  a  terror  of  Ulysses’  son. 

So  that  day’s  feast  was  concluded  without  bloodshed, 
and  the  suitors,  tired  with  their  sports,  departed  sever¬ 
ally  each  man  to  his  apartment.  Only  Ulysses  and 
Telemachus  remained.  And  now  Telemachus,  by  his 
father’s  direction,  went  and  brought  down  into  the  hall 
armor  and  lances  from  the  armory  :  for  Ulysses  said  : 
“  On  the  morrow  we  shall  have  need  of  them.”  And 
moreover  he  said  :  “If  any  one  shall  ask  why  you  have 



taken  them  down,  say,  it  is  to  clean  them  and  scour 
them  from  the  rust  which  they  have  gathered  since  the 
owner  of  this  house  went  for  Troy.”  And  as  Tele- 
machus  stood  by  the  armor,  the  lights  were  all  gone 
out,  and  it  was  pitch-dark,  and  the  armor  gave  out 
glistening  beams  as  of  fire,  and  he  said  to  his  father  : 
“  The  pillars  of  the  house  are  on  fire.”  And  his  father 
said  :  “  It  is  the  gods  who  sit  above  the  stars  and  have 
power  to  make  the  night  as  light  as  day.”  And  he  took 
it  for  a  good  omen.  And  Telemachus  fell  to  cleaning 
and  sharpening  of  the  lances. 

Now  Ulysses  had  not  seen  his  wife  Penelope  in  all 
the  time  since  his  return  ;  for  the  queen  did  not  care  to 
mingle  with  the  suitors  at  their  banquets,  but,  as  be¬ 
came  one  that  had  been  Ulysses’  wife,  kept  much  in 
private,  spinning  and  doing  her  excellent  housewiferies 
among  her  maids  in  the  remote  apartments  of  the  palace. 
Only  upon  solemn  days  she  would  come  down  and  show 
herself  to  the  suitors.  And  Ulysses  was  filled  with  a 
longing  desire  to  see  his  wife  again,  whom  for  twenty 
years  he  had  not  beheld,  and  he  softly  stole  through  the 
known  passages  of  his  beautiful  house,  till  he  came 
where  the  maids  were  lighting  the  queen  through  a 
stately  gallery  that  led  to  the  chamber  where  she  slept. 
And  when  the  maids  saw  Ulysses,  they  said:  “It  is 
the  beggar  who  came  to  the  court  to-day,  about  whom 
all  that  uproar  was  stirred  up  in  the  hall  :  what  does  he 
here?”  But  Penelope  gave  commandment  that  he 
should  be  brought  before  her,  for  she  said  :  “  It  may  be 



that  he  has  travelled,  and  has  heard  something  concern¬ 
ing  Ulysses.” 

Then  was  Ulysses  right  glad  to  hear  himself  named 
by  his  queen,  to  find  himself  in  nowise  forgotten,  nor 
her  great  love  towards  him  decayed  in  all  that  time  that 
he  had  been  away.  And  he  stood  before  his  queen,  and 
she  knew  him  not  to  be  Ulysses,  but  supposed  that  he 
had  been  some  poor  traveller.  And  she  asked  him  of 
what  country  he  was. 

He  told  her  (as  he  had  before  told  to  Eumseus)  that 
he  was  a  Cretan  born,  and  however  poor  and  cast  down 
he  now  seemed,  no  less  a  man  than  brother  to  Ido- 
meneus,  who  was  grandson  to  king  Minos,  and  though 
he  now  wanted  bread,  he  had  once  had  it  in  his  power 
to  feast  Ulysses.  Then  he  feigned  how  Ulysses,  sailing 
for  Troy,  was  forced  by  stress  of  weather  to  put  his  fleet 
in  at  a  port  of  Crete,  where  for  twelve  days  he  was  his 
guest,  and  entertained  by  him  with  all  befitting  guest- 
rites  ;  and  he  described  the  garments  which  Ulysses  had 
on,  by  which  Penelope  knew  that  he  had  seen  her  lord. 

In  this  manner  Ulysses  told  his  wife  many  tales  of 
himself,  at  most  but  painting,  but  painting  so  near  to 
the  life,  that  the  feeling  of  that  which  she  took  at  her 
ears  became  so  strong,  that  the  kindly  tears  ran  down 
her  fair  cheeks,  while  she  thought  upon  her  lord,  dead 
she  thought  him,  and  heavily  mourned  the  loss  of  him, 
whom  she  missed,  whom  she  could  not  find,  though  in 
very  deed  he  stood  so  near  her. 

Ulysses  was  moved  to  see  her  weep,  but  kept  his  own 


eyes  as  dry  as  iron  or  horn  in  their  lids,  putting  a  bridle 
upon  his  strong  passion,  that  it  should  not  issue  to  sight. 

Then  he  told  her  how  he  had  lately  been  at  the  court 
of  Thesprotia,  and  what  he  had  learned  concerning 
Ulysses  there,  in  order  as  he  had  delivered  to  Eumaeus  : 
and  Penelope  was  won  to  believe  that  there  might  be  a 
possibility  of  Ulysses  being  alive,  and  she  said:  “I 
dreamed  a  dream  this  morning.  Metliought  I  had 
twenty  household  fowl  which  did  eat  wheat  steeped  in 
water  from  my  hand,  and  there  came  suddenly  from  the 
clouds  a  crook-beaked  hawk  who  soused  on  them  and 
killed  them  all,  trussing  their  necks,  then  took  his  flight 
back  up  to  the  clouds.  And  in  my  dream  methought 
that  I  wept  and  made  great  moan  for  my  fowls,  and  for 
the  destruction  which  the  hawk  had  made  ;  and  my 
maids  came  about  me  to  comfort  me.  And  in  the 
height  of  my  griefs  the  hawk  came  back,  and  lighting 
upon  the  beam  of  my  chamber,  he  said  to  me  in  a  man’s 
voice,  which  sounded  strangely  even  in  my  dream,  to 
hear  a  hawk  to  speak  :  ‘  Be  of  good  cheer,’  he  said,  ‘  O 
daughter  of  Icarius  ;  for  this  is  no  dream  which  thou 
hast  seen,  but  that  which  shall  happen  to  thee  indeed. 
Those  household  fowl  which  thou  lamentest  so  without 
reason,  are  the  suitors  who  devour  thy  substance,  even 
as  thou  sawest  the  fowl  eat  from  thy  hand,  and  the 
hawk  is  thy  husband,  who  is  coming  to  give  death  to  the 
suitors.’  And  I  awoke,  and  went  to  see  to  my  fowls 
if  they  were  alive,  whom  I  found  eating  wheat  from 
their  troughs,  all  well  and  safe  as  before  my  dream.” 



Then  said  Ulysses:  “This  dream  can  endure  no 
other  interpretation  than  that  which  the  hawk  gave  to 
it,  who  is  your  lord,  and  who  is  coming  quickly  to  effect 
all  that  his  words  told  you.” 

“Your  words,”  she  said,  “my  old  guest,  are  so  sweet, 
that  would  you  sit  and  please  me  with  your  speech,  my 
ears  would  never  let  my  eyes  close  their  spheres  for  very 
joy  of  your  discourse  ;  but  none  that  is  merely  mortal 
can  live  without  the  death  of  sleep,  so  the  gods  who  are 
without  death  themselves  have  ordained  it,  to  keep  the 
memory  of  our  mortality  in  our  minds,  while  we  expe¬ 
rience  that  as  much  as  we  live  we  die  every  day  :  in 
which  consideration  I  will  ascend  my  bed,  which  I  have 
nightly  watered  with  my  tears  since  he  that  was  the  joy 
of  it  departed  for  that  bad  city  ;  ”  she  so  speaking,  be¬ 
cause  she  could  not  bring  her  lips  to  name  the  name  of 
Troy  so  much  hated.  So  for  that  night  they  parted, 
Penelope  to  her  bed,  and  Ulysses  to  his  son,  and  to  the 
armor  and  the  lances  in  the  hall,  where  they  sat  up  all 
night  cleaning  and  watching  by  the  armor. 


Hisses  slays  the  suitors  of  Penelope. 


The  madness  from  above — The  bow  of  Ulysses — The  slaughter — The 


When  daylight  appeared,  a  tumultuous  concourse  of 
suitors  again  filled  the  hall  ;  and  some  wondered,  and 
some  inquired  what  meant  that  glittering  store  of  armor 
and  lances  which  lay  on  heaps  by  the  entry  of  the  door  ; 
and  to  all  that  asked  Telemachus  made  reply,  that  he 
had  caused  them  to  be  taken  down  to  cleanse  them  of 
the  rust  and  of  the  stain  which  they  had  contracted  by 
lying  so  long  unused,  even  ever  since  his  father  went 
for  Troy  ;  and  with  that  answer  their  minds  were  easily 
satisfied.  So  to  their  feasting  and  vain  rioting  again 
they  fell.  Ulysses  by  Telemachus’  order  had  a  seat  and 
a  mess  assigned  to  him  in  the  doorway,  and  he  had  his 
eye  ever  on  the  lances.  And  it  moved  gall  in  some  of 
the  great  ones  there  present,  to  have  their  feast  still 
dulled  with  the  society  of  that  wretched  beggar  as  they 
deemed  him,  and  they  reviled  and  spurned  at  him  with 

their  feet.  Only  there  was  one  Philgetius,  who  had 




something  a  better  nature  than  the  rest,  that  spake 
kindly  to  him,  and  had  his  age  in  respect.  He  coming 
up  to  Ulysses,  took  him  by  the  hand  with  a  kind  of 
fear,  as  if  touched  exceedingly  with  imagination  of  his 
great  worth,  and  said  thus  to  him:  “Hail!  father 
stranger !  my  brows  have  sweat  to  see  the  injuries 
which  you  have  received,  and  my  eyes  have  broke  forth 
in  tears,  when  I  have  only  thought  that  such  being 
oftentimes  the  lot  of  worthiest  men,  to  this  plight 
Ulysses  may  be  reduced,  and  that  he  now  may  wander 
from  place  to  place  as  you  do  ;  for  such  who  are  com¬ 
pelled  by  need  to  range  here  and  there,  and  have  no 
firm  home  to  fix  their  feet  upon,  God  keeps  them  in  this 
earth,  as  under  water  ;  so  are  they  kept  down  and  de¬ 
pressed.  And  a  dark  thread  is  sometimes  spun  in  the 
fates  of  kings.” 

At  this  bare  likening  of  the  beggar  to  Ulysses,  Mi¬ 
nerva  from  heaven  made  the  suitors  for  foolish  joy  to  go 
mad,  and  roused  them  to  such  a  laughter  as  would  never 
stop,  they  laughed  without  power  of  ceasing,  their  eyes 
stood  full  of  tears  for  violent  joys  ;  but  fears  and  horrible 
misgivings  succeeded  :  and  one  among  them  stood  up 
and  prophesied  :  “Ah,  wretches!”  he  said,  “  what  mad¬ 
ness  from  heaven  has  seized  you,  that  you  can  laugh  ? 
see  you  not  that  your  meat  drops  blood  ?  a  night,  like 
the  night  of  death,  wraps  you  about,  you  shriek  without 
knowing  it ;  your  eyes  thrust  forth  tears  ;  the  fixed  walls, 
and  the  beam  that  bears  the  whole  house  up,  fall  blood  ; 
ghosts  choke  up  the  entry  ;  full  is  the  hall  with  appari- 



tions  of  murdered  men  ;  mider  your  feet  is  hell  ;  the 
sun  falls  from  heaven,  and  it  is  midnight  at  noon.” 
But  like  men  whom  the  gods  had  infatuated  to  their  de¬ 
struction,  they  mocked  at  his  fears,  and  Eurymachus 
said,  “This  man  is  surely  mad,  conduct  him  forth  into 
the  market-place,  set  him  in  the  light,  for  he  dreams 
that  ’ tis  night  within  the  house.” 

But  Theoclymenus  (for  that  was  the  prophet’s  name), 
whom  Minerva  had  graced  with  a  prophetic  spirit,  that 
he  foreseeing  might  avoid  the  destruction  which  awaited 
them,  answered  and  said  :  “  Eurymachus,  I  will  not  re¬ 
quire  a  guide  of  thee,  for  I  have  eyes  and  ears,  the  use 
of  both  my  feet,  and  a  sane  mind  within  me,  and  with 
these  I  will  go  forth  of  the  doors,  because  I  know  the 
imminent  evils  which  await  all  you  that  stay,  by  reason 
of  this  poor  guest  who  is  a  favorite  with  all  the  gods.” 
So  saying  he  turned  his  back  upon  those  inhospitable 
men,  and  went  away  home,  and  never  returned  to  the 

These  words  which  he  spoke  were-  not  nnheard  by 
Telemachus,  who  kept  still  his  eye  upon  his  father,  ex¬ 
pecting  fervently  when  he  would  give  the  sign,  which 
was  to  precede  the  slaughter  of  the  suitors. 

They  dreaming  of  no  such  thing,  fell  sweetly  to  their 
dinner,  as  joying  in  the  great  store  of  banquet  which 
was  heaped  in  full  tables  about  them  ;  but  there  reigned 
not  a  bitterer  banquet  planet  in  all  heaven  than  that 
which  hung  over  them  this  day  by  secret  destination  of 



There  was  a  bow  which  Ulysses  left  when  he  went 
for  Troy.  It  had  lain  by  since  that  time,  out  of  use  and 
unstrung,  for  no  man  had  strength  to  draw  that  bow, 
save  Ulysses.  So  it  had  remained  as  a  monument  of 
the  great  strength  of  its  master.  This  bow,  with  the 
quiver  of  arrows  belonging  thereto,  Telemachus  had 
brought  down  from  the  armory  on  the  last  night  along 
with  the  lances  ;  and  now  Minerva,  intending  to  do' 
Ulysses  an  honor,  put  it  into  the  mind  of  Telemachus- 
to  propose  to  the  suitors  to  try  who  was  strongest  to 
draw  that  bow  ;  and  he  promised  that  to  the  man  who 
should  be  able  to  draw  that  bow,  his  mother  should  be 
given  in  marriage  ;  Ulysses’  wife,  the  prize  to  him  who 
should  bend  the  bow  of  Ulysses. 

There  was  great  strife  and  emulation  stirred  up 
among  the  suitors  at  those  words  of  the  prince  Telem¬ 
achus.  And  to  grace  her  son’s  words,  and  to  confirm 
the  promise  which  he  had  made,  Penelope  came  and 
showed  herself  that  day  to  the  suitors  ;  and  Minerva 
made  her  that  she  appeared  never  so  comely  in  their 
sight  as  that  day,  and  they  were  inflamed  with  the  be¬ 
holding  of  so  much  beauty,  proposed  as  the  prize  of  so 
great  manhood  ;  and  they  cried  out,  that  if  all  those 
heroes  who  sailed  to  Colchos  for  the  rich  purchase  of 
the  golden-fleeced  ram,  had  seen  earth’s  richer  prize, 
Penelope,  they  would  not  have  made  their  voyage,  but 
would  have  vowed  their  valors  and  their  lives  to  her,  for 
she  was  at  all  parts  faultless. 

And  she  said,  “The  gods  have  taken  my  beauty  from 



me,  since  my  lord  went  for  Troy.”  But  Telemaclius 
willed  his  mother  to  depart  and  not  be  present  at  that 
contest,  for  he  said,  “It  may  be,  some  rougher  strife 
shall  chance  of  this,  than  may  be  expedient  for  a  woman 
to  witness.”  And  she  retired,  she  and  her  maids,  and 
left  the  hall. 

Then  the  bow  was  brought  into  the  midst,  and  a  mark 
was  set  up  by  prince  Telemaclius  :  and  lord  Antinous  as 
the  chief  among  the  suitors  had  the  first  offer,  and  he 
took  the  bow  and  fitting;  an  arrow  to  the  string;,  he  strove 
to  bend  it,  but  not  with  all  his  might  and  main  could  he 
once  draw  together  the  ends  of  that  tough  bow  ;  and 
when  he  found  how  vain  a  thing  it  was  to  endeavor  to 
draw  Ulysses’  bow,  he  desisted,  blushing  for  shame  and 
for  mere  anger.  Then  Eurymaclnis  adventured,  but 
with  no  better  success  ;  but  as  it  had  torn  the  hands  of 
Antinous,  so  did  the  bow  tear  and  strain  his  hands,  and 
marred  his  delicate  fingers,  yet  could  he  not  once  stir 
the  string'.  Then  called  he  to  the  attendants  to  bring 
fat  and  unctuous  matter,  which  melting  at  the  fire,  he 
dipped  the  bow  therein,  thinking  to  supple  it  and  make 
it  more  pliable,  but  not  with  all  the  helps  of  art  could 
he  succeed  in  making  it  to  move.  After  him  Eiodes, 
and  Amphinomus,  and  Polybus,  and  Eurynomus,  and 
Polyctorides,  assayed  their  strength,  but  not  any  one  of 
them  or  of  the  rest  of  those  aspiring  suitors,  had  any 
better  luck  ;  yet  not  the  meanest  of  them  there  but 
thought  himself  well  worthy  of  Ulysses’  wife,  but  to  shoot 



with  Ulysses’  bow  the  coinpletest  champion  among  them 
was  by  proof  found  too  feeble. 

Then  Ulysses  prayed  them  that  he  might  have  leave 
to  try  ;  and  immediately  a  clamor  was  raised  among  the 
suitors,  because  of  his  petition,  and  they  scorned  and 
swelled  with  rage  at  his  presumption,  and  that  a  beggar 
should  seek  to  contend  in  a  game  of  such  noble  mastery. 
But  Telemachus  ordered  that  the  bow  should  be  given 
him,  and  that  he  should  have  leave  to  try,  since  they 
had  failed  ;  “for,”  he  said,  “the  bow  is  mine,  to  give 
or  to  withhold  :  ”  and  none  durst  gainsay  the  priuce. 

Then  Ulysses  gave  a  sign  to  his  son,  and  he  com¬ 
manded  the  doors  of  the  hall  to  be  made  fast,  and  all 
wondered  at  his  words,  but  none  could  divine  the  cause. 
And  Ulysses  took  the  bow  into  his  hands,  and  before  he 
essayed  to  bend  it,  he  surveyed  it  at  all  parts  to  see 
whether,  by  long  lying  by,  it  had  contracted  any  stiff¬ 
ness  which  hindered  the  drawing  ;  and  as  he  was  busied 
in  the  curious  surveying  of  his  bow,  some  of  the  suitors 
mocked  him  and  said,  “  Past  doubt  this  man  is  a  right 
cunning  archer,  and  knows  his  craft  well.  See  how  he 
turns  it  over  and  over,  and  looks  into  it  as  if  he  could 
see  through  the  wood.”  And  others  said,  “We  wish 
some  one  would  tell  out  gold  into  our  laps  but  for  so- 
long  a  time  as  he  shall  be  in  drawing  of  that  string.”' 
But  when  he  had  spent  some  little  time  in  making  proof 
of  the  bow,  and  had  found  it  to  be  in  good  plight,  like 
as  a  harper  in  tuning  of  his  harp  draws  out  a  string,  with 

such  ease  or  much  more  did  Ulysses  draw  to  the  head 



the  string  of  his  own  tough  bow,  and  in  letting  of  it  go, 
it  twanged  with  such  a  shrill  noise  as  a  swallow  makes 
when  it  sings  through  the  air  ;  which  so  much  amazed 
the  suitors,  that  their  colors  came  and  went,  and  the 
skies  gave  out  a  uoise  of  thunder,  which  at  heart  cheered 
Ulysses,  for  he  knew  that  now  his  long  labors  by  the 
disposal  of  the  fates  drew  to  an  end.  Then  fitted  he  an 
arrow  to  the  bow,  and  drawing  it  to  the  head,  he  sent  it 
right  to  the  mark  which  the  prince  had  set  up.  Which 
done,  he  said  to  Telemaclius,  “Yon  have  got  no  dis¬ 
grace  yet  by  your  guest,  for  I  have  struck  the  mark  I 
shot  at,  and  gave  myself  no  such  trouble  in  teasing  the 
bow  with  fat  and  fire,  as  these  men  did,  but  have  made 
proof  that  my  strength  is  not  impaired,  nor  my  age  so 
weak  and  contemptible  as  these  were  pleased  to  think 
it.  But  come,  the  day  going  down  calls  us  to  supper, 
after  which  succeed  poem  and  harp,  and  all  delights 
which  use  to  crown  princely  banquetings.” 

So  saying,  he  beckoned  to  his  sou,  who  straight  girt 
his  sword  to  his  side,  and  took  one  of  the  lauces  (of 
which  there  lay  great  store  from  the  armory)  in  his  hand, 
and  armed  at  all  points,  advanced  toward  his  father. 

The  upper  rags  which  Ulysses  wore  fell  from  his 
■shoulder,  and  his  own  kingly  likeness  returned,  when 
he  rushed  to  the  great  hall  door  with  bow  and  quiver 
full  of  shafts,  which  down  at  his  feet  he  poured,  and  in 
bitter  words  presignified  his  deadly  intent  to  the  suitors. 
“Thus  far,”  he  said,  “this  contest  has  been  decided 
harmless  :  now  for  us  there  rests  another  mark,  harder 



to  hit,  but  which  my  hands  shall  essay  notwithstanding, 
if  Phoebus,  god  of  archers,  be  pleased  to  give  me 
mastery.”  With  that  he  let  fly  a  deadly  arrow  at 
Antinous,  which  pierced  him  in  the  throat  as  he  was  in 
the  act  of  lifting  a  cup  of  wine  to  his  mouth.  Amaze¬ 
ment  seized  the  suitors,  as  their  great  champion  fell 
dead,  and  they  raged  highly  against  Ulysses,  and  said 
that  it  should  prove  the  dearest  shaft  which  he  ever  let 
fly,  for  he  had  slain  a  man,  whose  like  breathed  not  in 
any  part  of  the  kingdom  :  and  they  flew  to  their  arms, 
and  would  have  seized  the  lances,  but  Minerva  struck 
them  with  dimness  of  sight  that  they  went  erring  up 
and  down  the  hall,  not  knowing  where  to  find  them. 
Yet  so  infatuated  were  they  by  the  displeasure  of  heaven, 
that  they  did  not  see  the  imminent  peril  which  impended 
over  them,  but  every  man  believed  that  this  accident 
had  happened  beside  the  intention  of  the  doer.  Fools  ! 
to  think  by  shutting  their  eyes  to  evade  destiny,  or  that 
any  other  cup  remained  for  them,  but  that  which  their 
great  Antinous  had  tasted  ! 

Then  Ulysses  revealed  himself  to  all  in  that  presence, 
and  that  he  was  the  man  whom  they  held  to  be  dead  at 
Troy,  whose  palace  they  had  usurped,  whose  wife  in  his 
lifetime  they  had  sought  in  impious  marriage,  and  that 
for  this  reason  destruction  was  come  upon  them.  And 
he  dealt  his  deadly  arrows  among  them,  and  there  was  no 
avoiding  him,  nor  escaping  from  his  horrid  person,  and 
Telemachus  by  his  side  plied  them  thick  with  those 
murderous  lances  from  which  there  was  no  retreat,  till 



fear  itself  made  them  valiant,  and  danger  gave  them 
eyes  to  understand  the  peril  ;  then  they  which  had 
swords  drew  them,  and  some  with  shields,  that  could 
find  them,  and  some  with  tables  and  benches  snatched 
up  in  haste,  rose  in  a  mass  to  overwhelm  and  crush 
those  two  ;  yet  they  singly  bestirred  themselves  like 
men,  and  defended  themselves  against  that  great  host, 
and  through  tables,  shields  and  all,  right  through  the 
arrows  of  Ulysses  clove,  and  the  irresistible  lances  of 
Telemachus  ;  and  many  lay  dead,  and  all  had  wounds, 
and  Minerva  in  the  likeness  of  a  bird  sat  upon  the  beam 
which  went  across  the  hall,  and  clapping  her  wings 
with  a  fearful  noise,  and  sometimes  the  great  bird  would 
fly  among  them,  cuffing  at  the  swords  and  at  the  lances, 
and  up  and  down  the  hall  would  go,  beating  her  wings, 
and  troubling  everything,  that  it  was  frightful  to  behold, 
and  it  frayed  the  blood  from  the  cheeks  of  those  heaven- 
hated  suitors  :  but  to  Ulysses  and  his  son  she  appeared 
in  her  own  divine  similitude,  with  her  snake-fringed 
shield,  a  goddess  armed,  fighting  their  battles.  Nor 
did  that  dreadful  pair  desist  till  they  had  laid  all  their 
foes  at  their  feet.  At  their  feet  they  lay  in  shoals  ; 
like  fishes,  when  the  fishermen  break  up  their  nets, 
so  they  lay  gasping  and  sprawling  at  the  feet  of 
Ulysses  and  his  son.  And  Ulysses  remembered  the 
prediction  of  Tiresias,  which  said  that  he  was  to  perish  by 
his  own  guests,  unless  he  slew  those  who  knew  him  not. 

Then  certain  of  the  queen’s  household  went  up  and 
told  Penelope  what  had  happened,  and  how  her  lord 



Ulysses  had  come  home,  and  had  slain  the  suitors.  But 
she  gave  no  heed  to  their  words,  but  thought  that  some 
frenzy  possessed  them,  or  that  they  mocked  her  :  for  it 
is  the  property  of  such  extremes  of  sorrow  as  she  had 
felt,  not  to  believe  when  any  great  joy  cometh.  And 
she  rated  and  chid  them  exceedingly  for  troubling  her. 
But  they  the  more  persisted  in  their  asseverations  of 
the  truth  of  what  they  had  affirmed  ;  and  some  of 
them  had  seen  the  slaughtered  bodies  of  the  suitors 
dragged  forth  of  the  hall.  And  they  said,  “That  poor 
guest  whom  you  talked  with  last  night  was  Ulysses.” 
Then  she  was  yet  more  fully  persuaded  that  they 
mocked  her,  and  she  wept.  But  they  said,  “This  thing 
is  true  which  we  have  told.  We  sat  within,  in  an  inner 
room  in  the  palace,  and  the  doors  of  the  hall  were  shut 
on  us,  but  we  heard  the  cries  and  the  groans  of  the  men 
that  were  killed,  but  saw  nothing,  till  at  length  your 
son  called  to  us  to  come  in,  and  entering  we  saw 
Ulysses  standing  in  the  midst  of  the  slaughtered.”  But 
she  persisting  in  her  unbelief,  said,  that  it  was  some 
god  which  had  deceived  them  to  think  it  was  the  person 
of  Ulysses. 

By  this  time  Telemachus  and  his  father  had  cleansed 
their  hands  from  the  slaughter,  and  were  come  to  where 
the  queen  was  talking  with  those  of  her  household  ; 
and  when  she  saw  Ulysses,  she  stood  motionless,  and 
had  no  power  to  speak,  sudden  surprise  and  joy  and 
fear  and  many  passions  so  strove  within  her.  Some¬ 
times  she  was  clear  that  it  was  her  husband  that  she 



saw,  and  sometimes  the  alterations  which  twenty  years 
had  made  in  his  person  (yet  that  was  not  much)  per¬ 
plexed  her  that  she  knew  not  what  to  think,  and  for  joy 
she  could  not  believe  ;  and  yet  for  joy  she  would  not 
but  believe  ;  and,  above  all,  that  sudden  change  from  a 
beggar  to  a  king  troubled  her,  and  wrought  uneasy 
scruples  in  her  mind.  But  Telemachus  seeing  her 
strangeness,  blamed  her,  and  called  her  an  ungentle  and 
tyrannous  mother  !  and  said  that  she  showed  a  too  great 
curiousness  of  modesty,  to  abstain  from  embracing  his 
father,  and  to  have  doubts  of  his  person,  when  to  all 
it  was  evident  that  he  was  the  real  and  true  Ulysses. 

Then  she  mistrusted  no  longer,  but  ran  and  fell  upon 
Ulysses’  neck,  and  said,  “  Uet  not  my  husband  be  angry, 
that  I  held  off  so  long  with  strange  delays  ;  it  is  the 
gods,  who  severing  us  for  so  long  time,  have  caused  this 
unseemly  distance  in  me.  If  Menelaus’  wife  had  used 
half  my  caution,  she  would  never  have  taken  so  freely 
to  a  stranger’s  bed;  and  she  might  have  spared  us  all 
these  plagues  which  have  come  upon  us  through  her 
shameless  deed.” 

These  words  with  which  Penelope  excused  herself,, 
wrought  more  affection  in  Ulysses  than  if  upon  a  first 
sight  she  had  given  up  herself  implicitly  to  his  embraces  ; 
and  he  wept  for  joy  to  possess  a  wife  so  discreet,  so- 
answering  to  his  own  staid  mind,  that  had  a  depth  of 
wit  proportioned  to  his  own,  and  one  that  held  chaste 
virtue  at  so  high  a  price,  and  he  thought  the  possession 
of  such  a  one  cheaply  purchased  with  the  loss  of  all 



Circe’s  delights,  and  Calypso’s  immortality  of  joys  ;  and 
his  long  labors  and  his  severe  sufferings  past  seemed  as 
nothing,  now  they  were  crowned  with  the  enjoyment  of 
his  virtuous  and  true  wife  Penelope.  And  as  sad  men 
at  sea  whose  ship  has  gone  to  pieces  nigh  shore,  swim¬ 
ming  for  their  lives,  all  drenched  in  foam  and  brine, 
crawl  up  to  some  poor  patch  of  land,  which  they  take 
possession  of  with  as  great  a  joy  as  if  they  had  the 
world  given  them  in  fee,  with  such  delight  did  this 
chaste  wife  cling  to  her  lord  restored,  till  the  dark  night 
fast  coming  on  reminded  her  of  that  more  intimate  and 
happy  union  when  in  her  long-widowed  bed  she  should 
once  again  clasp  a  living  Ulysses. 

So  from  that  time  the  land  had  rest  from  the  suitors. 
And  the  happy  Ithacans  with  songs  and  solemn  sacrifices 
of  praise  to  the  gods  celebrated  the  return  of  Ulysses  : 
for  he  that  had  been  so  long  absent  was  returned  to 
wreak  the  evil  upon  the  heads  of  the  doers  ;  in  the  place 
where  they  had  done  the  evil,  there  wreaked  he  his 
vengeance  upon  them. 


signifies  a  short  vowel  sound,  -  signifies  a  long  vowel  sound, 
/  signifies  that  the  accent  falls  on  the  syllable  so  marked.  Pronounce 
ch  as  k ;  ae  as  e. 


Acheron.  A  river  of  Hades. 

Achilles.  The  principal  Greek  hero  of  the  Trojan  war. 

Aeea.  The  island  where  Circe  lived. 

Aegisthus.  The  murderer  of  Agamemnon. 

Aeolus.  Ruler  of  the  winds. 

Agamemnon.  Greek  hero  of  the  Trojan  war.  Husband  of  Clyt- 

Ajax.  Greek  hero  of  the  Trojan  war. 

Alcinous.  King  of  the  Phaeacians. 

Amphinomus.  One  of  the  suitors. 

Antinous.  One  of  Penelope’s  suitors. 

Antiphas.  The  Rsestrygonian  monarch. 

Arcesius.  Grandfather  of  Ulysses. 

Argo.  The  ship  in  which  Jason  fetched  the  golden  fleece. 

Atreus.  Father  of  Agamemnon. 


Bootes.  The  constellation  of  the  kittle  Bear. 

Bbreas.  The  north  wind. 





Cadmus.  King  of  Thebes. 

Calliroe.  A  river  of  Phasacia. 

Calypso.  The  goddess  who  entertained  Ulysses  in  the  island  of 

Castor.  Brother  of  Pollux,  and  endowed  after  death  with  immor¬ 

Charybdis.  Scylla  and  Charybdis  were  the  monsters  dwelling  by 
the  whirlpools  which  Ulysses  had  to  avoid. 

Cicons.  A  people  of  Thrace. 

Circe.  The  goddess  who  changed  Ulysses’s  comrades  into  swine. 

Clytemnestra.  Wife  of  Agamemnon. 

Cocytus.  A  river  of  the  lower  world. 

Cyclops.  The  one-eyed  giants  of  Sicily  ;  one  of  the  Cyclops  was 

Cythera.  An  island  off  the  southern  extremity  of  Greece. 


Deiphobus.  A  son  of  Priam,  king  of  Troy. 

Delos.  An  island  in  the  Aegean  Sea. 

Demodocus.  Minstrel  at  the  Court  of  Phaeacia. 

Dodona.  A  famous  Greek  oracle. 

Dulichium.  An  island  belonging  to  the  kingdom  of  Ithaca. 



Ephialtes.  A  son  of  Neptune,  famous  for  his  superhuman 


Eumaeus.  The  herdsman  of  Ulysses. 

Eurus.  The  east  wind. 

Eurylochus.  One  of  the  followers  of  Ulysses. 

Eurymachus  and  Euryn5mus.  Suitors  of  Penelope. 


Hebe.  Daughter  of  Zeus,  or  Jupiter ;  the  cup-bearer  of  the  gods. 




Icarius.  Father  of  Penelope. 

Idomeneus.  Deader  of  the  Cretans  in  the  Trojan  war. 
iuo  Leucothea.  A  goddess  of  the  sea. 

Iphimedeia.  Mother  of  Otus  and  Ephialtes. 

Irus.  The  bragging  but  cowardly  beggar  at  the  suitors’  table. 
Ismarus.  A  town  belonging  to  the  Cicons. 

Ithaca.  An  island  off  the  coast  of  Epirus,  of  which  Ulysses  was 


Laertes.  Father  of  Ulysses. 

Laestrygonlans.  The  cannibal  tribe  whom  Ulysses  encountered 
on  his  wanderings. 

Latona.  Mother  of  Apollo  and  Artemis. 

Leda.  Mother  of  Castor  and  Pollux. 

Liodes.  One  of  Penelope’s  suitors. 


Malea.  A  promontory  on  the  south  coast  of  Greece. 

Menelaus.  A  Greek  hero,  husband  of  Helen  of  Troy  and 
brother  of  Agamemnon. 

Mentor.  A  counsellor  of  Ulysses  and  guardian  of  his  son  Telem- 

Mercury.  The  Roman  name  (Mercurius)  of  the  Greek  god 

Minerva.  The  Roman  equivalent  of  the  Greek  goddess  Athene. 
Minos.  One  of  the  judges  of  the  dead  in  Hades. 


Naiads.  Nymphs  or  goddesses  presiding  over  rivers  and  lakes. 
Nausicaa.  The  Phaeacian  princess. 

Neoptolemus.  Son  of  Achilles. 

Nerytus.  A  mountain  in  Ithaca. 

Nestor.  A  Greek  hero,  famous  for  his  wisdom. 

Notus.  The  south  wind. 




Ogygia.  The  island  where  Calypso  dwelt. 

Olympus.  A  mountain  in  Greece  supposed  to  he  the  home  of  the 

Orchomen.  A  city  of  Bceotia  in  Greece. 

Orestes.  Son  of  Agamemnon. 

Orion.  A  mighty  hunter,  after  death  transformed  into  a  constel¬ 

Ossa.  A  mountain  in  Thessaly. 

Otus.  Brother  of  Ephialtes. 



Peleus.  Father  of  Achilles. 

Pelion.  A  mountain  in  Thessaly. 

Penelope.  Ulysses’  wife. 

Phaeacians.  The  nation  ruled  by  Alcinous  ;  they  were  an  imag¬ 
inary  people. 

Phaedra.  Daughter  of  Minos  and  wife  of  Theseus. 

Philaetius.  One  of  Penelope’s  suitors. 

Phoebus.  An  epithet  of  the  sun-god  Apollo— “  the  shining  one.” 
Plena.  A  mountainous  tract  of  Macedonia. 

PIrithous.  He  tried  to  carry  off  Proserpine,  goddess  of  Hades, 
but  failed. 

Pleiads.  A  constellation. 

Pluto.  The  god  of  the  lower  world. 

PSlybus  and  P51yct5rides.  Suitors  of  Penelope. 

PSlyphemus.  The  one-eyed  Cyclop. 

Proserpine.  The  Roman  name  for  Persephone,  goddess  of  the 
lower  world. 

PyriphlggSthon.  A  river  of  the  lower  world. 

Pytho.  Seat  of  a  famous  oracle. 


S&m6s.  An  island  in  the  A3gaean  Sea. 



Scylla.  The  monster  who  dwelt  by  the  whirlpool  opposite 

Scyros.  An  island  in  the  AJgseau  Sea. 

Sirens.  Nymphs  whose  songs  charmed  all  passers-by  and  lured 
them  to  destruction. 

Sisyphus.  A  wicked  king  of  Corinth,  punished  after  death  as 
described  in  the  text. 

Solymi.  Mountains  in  Lycia  of  Asia  Minor. 



Telamon.  Father  of  Ajax. 

Telemachus.  Son  of  Ulysses. 

Theseus.  A  famous  legendary  Athenian  hero. 

Thesprotia.  A  district  on  the  coast  of  Epirus. 

Thetis.  A  goddess  of  the  sea,  mother  of  Achilles. 

Tiresias.  A  famous  blind  prophet  or  soothsayer. 

Tityus.  A  wicked  giant. 

Trinacria.  The  three-cornered  land,  another  name  for  Sicily. 
Tyndarus.  Father  of  Castor  and  of  Clytemnestra  and  Helen. 


Zacynthus.  An  island  in  the  Ionian  Sea. 

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